BRUSSELS, March 16 Euro zone finance ministers
reached a political agreement on the cornerstones of an
emergency lending programme for Cyprus which would help bring
down the public debt to GDP ratio of the island to 100 percent
in 2020, the chairman of the ministers said.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference after 10 hours of
talks between the ministers and the International Monetary Fund
that the single currency area would welcome an IMF contribution
to the bailout which will total 10 billion euros.
"The Eurogroup was able to reach a political agreement with
the Cypriot authorities on the cornerstones of this agreement,"
Separately, euro zone ministers agreed to extend the
maturity of emergency loans to Ireland and Portugal to smooth
out their return to market financing this year and next.