Cyprus moved a step closer on Tuesday to receiving much-needed aid when its parliament narrowly endorsed a bailout deal drafted amid unprecedented acrimony and calls for the island to exit the eurozone.
In a nail-biting ballot, following hours of heated debate, Nicosia's 56-member House approved the €10bn rescue package with a majority of two votes. Among officials who had warned of a "chaotic default" the result was met with visible relief.
"[We] welcome the decision to approve the loan agreement," government spokesman Christos Stylianides said in a written statement. "It would have been a paradox if European parliaments were to approve the loan of €10bn to Cyprus and for the parliament of a country whose coffers are empty to reject it without having a realistic alternative plan before it."