LIMASSOL Cyprus Jan 11 Finland's Prime Minister
Jyrki Katainen said his country is ready to support Cyprus in
its attempts to secure a bailout but the island's government
needs to show stronger leadership to meet "huge challenges".
"The challenges are really huge, but I'm sure if and when
the country can get a new and strong and committed leadership
capable of strengthening confidence it will have a tremendous
positive impact," he told reporters on Friday at a meeting of
European centre-right parties meeting in Limassol, Cyprus.
His comments were a clear signal of support for Cypriot
opposition leader Nicos Anastasiades, tipped to win Cyprus's
presidential election on Feb 17. Anastasiades was hosting the
meeting of the European People's Party (EPP).
Cyprus applied for a financial bailout from its EU partners
and the IMF last June after its banks reported massive losses to
Talks are complicated by concerns over the scale of the
bailout which could reach the size of the island's entire 17.5
billion euro economy. Authorities have already pledged 1.2
billion euros in savings as part of a draft bailout deal over a
"The medicine may be bad tasting but sometimes things like
this happen," Katainen said.