NICOSIA: Cyprus will not quit the euro despite the harsh terms of an EU-led bailout deal that saved the island from bankruptcy, President Nicos Anastasiades was quoted by state media as saying on Friday.
“We will not leave the euro and I stress that,” Anastasiades told an annual conference of civil servants in the capital Nicosia, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
“I repeat, we will not engage in risky experiments that will endanger the future of our country.”
The rightwing president said that when he took office around a month ago the country was bankrupt.
He criticised the previous government for pouring money into the island’s second largest lender Laiki, or Popular Bank, which will be wound up under the terms of the bailout.
Cyprus adopted the European single currency in 2008.
Anastasiades agreed the 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) rescue package in Brussels on Monday with the “troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The bailout also demands harsh reforms to Cyprus’s banking system — bloated with Russian money and exposed to toxic Greek debt — and a raid on deposits over 100,000 euros.
Anastasiades romped to victory in Cyprus’ presidential vote on February 24 pledging to secure the “earliest possible” bailout for the east Mediterranean island state.
Communist Demetris Christofias was president for five years until conservative Anastasiades was elected last month, and it was Christofias who first sought a bailout in June 2012.
Christofias has been widely criticised for balking at tough terms proposed by the troika and also for holding the reins too loosely on the banking system.