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Cyprus parliament rejects bailout-mandated bill to privatize state-owned companies

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cyprus' lawmakers on Thursday effectively forced the government to renegotiate terms of legislation that would pave the way for the privatization of state-owned companies, a condition of the debt-laden country's rescue deal with international lenders. The vote throws into doubt whether Cyprus will receive the next batch of bailout money that the government said is necessary to stave off bankruptcy. The country has until March 5 to pass the legislation which several parties including left-wing AKEL and socialist EDEK had staunchly opposed.

Cyprus MPs to debate 'difficult' bailout deal

The Cypriot parliament begins a debate Tuesday on a 10-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout which Finance Minister Haris Georgiades has described as a tough but necessary measure that has to be ratified without delay. Speaking on the eve of the parliament meeting, Georgiades warned that without a positive vote on the bailout deal, the eastern Mediterranean island would be driven to full economic collapse and could be forced to exit the eurozone. Such an outcome would be "dramatic", said Georgiades.

Hundreds of Cypriot youths rally against bailout

Hundreds of Cypriot students marched on the presidential palace in Nicosia on Tuesday, after a Facebook call for a rally against a painful bailout for the financially crippled island. "Troika out of Cyprus," said banners held by the angry students, in reference to the creditors of the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. "Hands off Cyprus," and "Those who stole our money should go to jail and pay," chanted the demonstrators, who an AFP cameraman said numbered around 1,500.

Cypriots protest against bailout talks

Hundreds of Cypriot demonstrators rallied outside EU offices and the presidential palace in Nicosia on Sunday to protest against a possible bailout plan for the near-bankrupt island. Protesters slated President Nicos Anastasiades and the "troika" of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank as Anastasiades held last-ditch talks with creditors in Brussels.

Factbox - Cyprus parliamentary vote on levy will be a close call

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus's parliament is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to discuss a levy on bank depositors due to be imposed as part of a financial bailout to stave off imminent default for the Mediterranean nation. Any vote will be a close call. Cypriot ministers were working on Monday to revise the terms of the levy but that was not expected to change the likely voting patterns, which are set out below:

Cyprus heads for runoff vote, conservative chief leads

NICOSIA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Cyprus was headed for a runoff vote in its presidential election after conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades failed to muster an outright majority after the bulk of votes were counted. The 66-year-old lawyer, who is in favour of a quick bailout deal with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders to avert a Cypriot bankruptcy, led with 45.2 percent of the vote, just short of the over 50 percent level needed to avoid the run-off.
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