Cyprus Gains More Time to Achieve Surplus

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Cyprus' government spokesman says the country has been granted an extra year -- until 2017 -- to achieve a targeted budget surplus of 4 percent as part of negotiations with international lenders for a rescue package.

Christos Stylianides said Monday that government negotiators are still looking to extend that by a further year. Under a preliminary agreement with Cyprus' euro area partners and the IMF, Cyprus had until 2016 to generate the budget surplus target through a raft of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Stylianides also said that negotiators will seek to give businesses access to 40 percent of their deposits over 100,000 euros in Cyprus' largest lender that are now frozen under a bank restructuring agreement in order to get the country's moribund economy going again.


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