Troika dictates its terms to Cyprus

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THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has set out the ultra-harsh terms of the ‘bailout deal’ that the Cypriot government has agreed.

In order to receive a 10bn-euro (£8.5bn; $12.8bn) ‘bailout’ next month, it will have to carry out measures against the 800,000 Cypriots that the IMF describes as ‘challenging’.

The IMF insists that Cyprus, an economy whose annual output is roughly 17 billion euros, must provide cuts and savings worth 4.5% of gross domestic product by 2018, to hit a primary-surplus target of 4% of GDP.

These cuts will come on top of savings worth 5% of GDP the government is already implementing through to 2015.

Bank depositors with more than 100,000 euros will lose up to 80% of their money.

The IMF said that the deal with its Troika partners, the European Union (EU) and the European Central Bank (ECB), will be sealed by early May.

Cyprus became the first country in the eurozone to bankrupt its depositors in order to secure a Troika bailout.

Meanwhile, in Greece seafarers, dockers, port staff and railway workers went on national strike yesterday against privatisation plans.

The Troika representatives are already in Athens where they dictated to the Greek government the privatisation of all ports, railways and airports and the sacking of at least 5,000 public sector workers and civil servants by this June.

Airport workers will stage a 24-hour national strike against privatisation today.

Not a single ferry sailed from the Greek ports on Wednesday morning as seafarers formed walls in front of the ships.

Greek railways OSE workers are staging national stoppages from 4-11pm for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday morning hundreds of ship-building workers held a rally outside the Defence Ministry in Athens demanding financial aid to the Skaramanga shipbuilding yard, the biggest in Greece, against closure.

The president of the ship-builders trade union V. Karakitsos, along with the president of the Metalworkers Federation, Y. Stefanopoulos, met with the Defence Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos to plead for financial aid.