Mediterranean Energy: Cyprus Election Edition
By Christopher Coats
Another day, another troubled European economy punishes its leaders for not being able to wade out of the fiscal muck that continues to paralyze much of the continent. This time around, Cyprus turned out to deliver one of the most decisive victories the divided island nation has ever seen, with 57% of voters casting their ballots for the Democratic Rally Party’s Nicos Anastasiades in a run-off against the Communist Party’s Stavros Malas.
The resounding victory came as the country continues to struggle its way out of a financial hole so deep, their appeal for a EU-led bailout would essentially equal their annual GDP at $18.3 billion. After watching their financial sector collapse because of their exposure to the restructuring of the Greek banking system, Cyprus proposed the rescue package last year, but have been unable to negotiate a final deal, despite launching a round of spending and state salary cuts under the outgoing government.
Despite growing frustration with an austerity path to recovery in other troubled economies in the region, Cypriot voters have sent the message that they would rather saddle up with Brussels than fight another round. Currently, the country has about enough money on hand to last them through April before creditors come knocking – loudly.
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