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Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris resigns

  • Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris announced his resignation on Tuesday after completing talks on a controversial bailout deal.

    Sarris, 66, is to be replaced by Labour Minister Haris Georgiades, according to local media reports.

    The $13 billion deal offered by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund originally set out to impose a levy on all Cypriot bank depositors, triggering protests and public anger.

    Under the revised deal, Bank of Cyprus depositors with more than $128,200 could now lose up to 60 percent of savings.

    Following the announcement, Sarris said that a probe ordered by President Nicos Anastasiades into what had brought the Mediterranean island nation close to bankruptcy before the bailout was agreed had influenced his decision to step down.

    "I believe that in order to facilitate the work of (investigators) the right thing would be to place my resignation at the disposal of the president of the republic, which I did," he said.

    Sarris was appointed finance minister in February.

    Prior to that, he was the head of the country's second-largest bank, Laiki, whose performance was a major factor in the country’s near financial collapse.

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