Cyprus says risk of economic collapse averted

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus's finance minister said on Thursday the risk of economic collapse the island nation faced last March had been averted, and a challenging austerity plan monitored by international lenders was starting to show results.

The country was pulled back from the brink of default with 10 billion euros in aid from the European Union and the IMF, conditional on the closure of a failing bank and confiscation of large deposits in a second lender.

"A priority...of this government was to avert the elevated risk of total economic collapse, our exit from the euro zone and whatever we built over the years being lost. This danger has now passed," Finance Minister Haris Georgiades told parliament, tabling the 2014 state budget.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)