NICOSIA — Cyprus's finance minister isn't ruling out privatizations to seal a bailout deal and make a debt as high as 17.5 billion euros sustainable, he said Friday.
Vassos Shiarly said that the island had formally requested a five-year extension from Russia to repay a 2.5 billion euro ($3.3 billion) loan due in 2016 and that a writedown of Greek debt implemented in early 2012 was a mistake.
Cyprus, one of the eurozone's smallest economies, applied for financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in June. Its banks were badly burned by an EU-sanctioned writedown of Greek sovereign debt held by private investors.
"The Greek [debt writedown] was a gift to Greece," Shiarly said.