Cyprus: extracts from the EC Midday press briefing
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EC/Berlaymont
End production: 20/03/2013 First transmission: 20/03/2013
Reacting to the decision of the Cypriot parliament, the European Commission said today in Brussels that it is now up to Cyprus to find alternatives to a levy in exchange for an international bailout.
"It is now for the Cypriot authorities to present an alternative scenario, respecting the debt sustainability criteria and corresponding financing parameters", Olivier Bailly, EC Spokesperson, told journalists.
"Decisions are taken by the Member States and no decision can be taken without their cooperation, including Cyprus itself", he added.
He said the Commission continues to stand ready to facilitate solutions and is continuing contacts with Cyprus, the other Member States in the Eurogroup, the EU institutions and the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior views of the European Commission building (2 shots)
||General view of the EC Midday press briefing
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olivier Bailly, EC Spokesperson, on the situation in Cyprus: While this programme (agreed at last Eurogroup) did not in all its elements correspond to the (European) Commission's proposal and preferences, the Commission felt the duty to support it, since the alternatives put forward were both more risky and less supportive to Cyprus's economy. This programme was not accepted yesterday by the Cypriot parliament. It is now for the Cypriot authorities to present an alternative scenario, respecting the debt sustainability criteria and corresponding financing parameters. The Commission has done its utmost to assist Cyprus and to work for a constructive and managed solution. However decisions are taken by the Member States and no decision can be taken without their cooperation, including Cyprus itself. The Commission continues to stand ready to facilitate solutions and is continuing contacts with Cyprus, the other Member States in the Eurogroup, the EU institutions and the IMF. Regarding the one-off levy on deposits below €100.000, the Commission made clear in the Eurogroup, before the vote in the Cypriot parliament, that an alternative solution respecting the financing parameters would be acceptable, preferably without a levy on deposits below €100.000. The Cypriot authorities did not accept such an alternative scenario.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olivier Bailly on the EC visit to Moscow: The (EC) Vice-President Rehn will stay in Brussels. He will focus on the situation in Cyprus. This is our priority. If our Russian partner wants to raise the question of Cyprus, which is not on the official agenda (of the meeting), it will be taken by the President (Barroso) in his meeting with President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olivier Bailly: No one is to blame. There was a unanimous agreement on the night between Friday and Saturday. Everyone made efforts to contribute to the solution. Unfortunately this compromise could not meet a political majority in the Cypriot parliament. Now everyone needs to remain as constructive as possible to continue finding the solution. We need a collective solution because, once we will have alternative scenario or options from Cyprus, we will need to come back to the Eurogroup and get the agreement of the Eurogroup. No one is to blame. Everyone has to remain positive and work for a collective solution for Cyprus.