Presidential backflip

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades will try to persuade lawmakers to back a plan to impose losses on the island-nation's depositors less than a month after he won an election vowing to prevent that happening.

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades will try to persuade lawmakers to back a plan to impose losses on the island-nation's depositors less than a month after he won an election vowing to prevent that happening.

On Sunday, Mr Anastasiades was poised to defend his decision to accept a rescue that includes the euro area's first move to penalise depositors when he addresses parliament before lawmakers vote on the legislation. With his Disy party holding 20 seats in the 56-seat legislature, he needs at least nine more votes to secure approval and avoid the financial collapse of the region's third-smallest economy.

"We faced decisions that had already been taken," Mr Anastasiades said.

He said the European Central Bank would stop providing liquidity to one of the country's banks on March 19, leading to its collapse, if his government did not accept the rescue package.

He had been given the choice of "the catastrophic scenario of disorderly bankruptcy or the scenario of a painful but controlled management of the crisis".

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