On 21 january, Eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss a possible bailout for Cyprus, but no decision is likely, the outcoming group's chief Jean-Claude Juncker said ahead of his final meeting at the helm of the Eurogroup.
Cyprus first indicated its intention to seek an international bailout in June, but the EU's only communist government has balked at many of the privatization measures that have been made a condition of international aid.
No decision is now likely under the present government, ahead of elections on February 17.
Cyprus also has to convince potential donors that concerns over money-laundering are unfounded. While Nicosia had provided documents showing their compliance on the matter, it would have to be addressed ahead of any bailout, an EU official said on condition of anonymity.
The ministers are also set to elect a new president of the Eurogroup. Juncker, who has held the post for eight years, is stepping down. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem announced his candidacy Thursday and appears to have wide backing.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup President and Prime Minister of Luxembourg
||SOUNDBITE (in German) Jean-Claude Juncker: I do not think we will be able to reach any decision on Cyprus today, I expect that to happen in March and we would like to hear more from the troika than a first impression on the matter.
||SOUNDBITE (German) Jean-Claude Juncker: I am happy to be out of this house, I have been calling out for a successor for the last six months.
||Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs
||Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Industry
||SOUNDBITE (in French) Pierre Moscovici saying that: There is no problem, we are just discussing the succession of Jean-Claude Juncker which needs to be as good as Jean-Claude Juncker. That is why I asked Jeroen Dijsselbloem who is a nice and smart person to present his agenda and his general view. So we will hold an open debate which is due to lead to his nomination.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance: What the Commission has in mind in putting this discussion in agenda is that there will be a political direction given to those people in the working parties. So we will get the flavour of different views among the member States of the Eurozone. There are different views but we are sticking by the commitments that were made on the 29 of June.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister for Finance: Further restoring trust in the Euro and the Eurozone. That is the main task at hand. There seems to be a new basis for trust and we have to work to enhance it, to strengthen it and to build new growth and jobs on that basis of trust.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Jeroen Dijsselbloem: On Cyprus, we are still waiting for the last results. There is still a number of figures still coming in. We are working on solutions. It will take a little more time. But we are working towards a solution.
||SOUNDBITE (in Spanish) Luis de Guindos Jurado, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain: Spain will listen at the program of the Dutch Minister, which is a candidate to the Eurogroup presidency and we will analyze it logically. We do not have any position at this respect yet. We will just analyze his program as president of the Eurogroup. This is an important position, a position which has to represent all members of the Eurogroup.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Jutta Urpilainen, Finnish Minister for Finance; I really hope we are able to choose the President for the Eurogroup today and my Dutch colleague is very good and I am going to support him.
||SOUNDBITE (in German) Wolfgang Schäuble, German Federal Minister of Finance saying that: We are waiting for the troika's report, we will received a proposal among other things and we will have a discussion. It is stated in the ESM treaty that the condition is a danger for the stability of the whole of Eurozone, we will see.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Vassos Shiarly, Minister for Finance of Cyprus: From my side we have done everything that was asked or suggested to us. Now it is the job for the rest to do their own. We are now in process and this process take a little bit of time.