EU/IMF experts examine Cyprus aid request
(NICOSIA) - Experts from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday to look into the eurozone member's request for financial aid.
The creditors began what the finance ministry described as a "fact-finding mission" in order to determine how much of the island's economy took a hit following its exposure to fellow EU neighbour Greece.
The troika met officials from the ministry, the Central Bank of Cyprus and various public services.
Their visit to Cyprus coincides with the Mediterranean island taking over the rotating EU presidency.
President Demetris Christofias' government only recently requested EU rescue funds to save Bank of Cyprus as well as Cyprus Popular Bank from massive losses after they were over exposed to Greek bonds.
"Contacts (with the troika) will continue in the coming days and will include meetings with political parties, the House of Representatives and the social partners, as well as with the administrations of the largest credit institutions," the finance ministry said.
The statement added that "no negotiations or discussions concerning possible adjustment programme will take place."
On June 25, Cyprus said it was requesting assistance from its eurozone partners, becoming the fifth out the 17 countries that share the euro to seek a rescue.
The government has not said how much it is seeking, but local media speculated it would be in the region of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion).
The government said it is still seeking help from a third country, either China or Russia, from which it secured a low-interest 2.5-billion-euro loan last year to cover refinancing needs for 2012.
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