NICOSIA Cyprus has no intention of leaving the European single currency, the island's president said on Friday, assuring Cypriots the situation was "contained" in the wake of a tough bailout deal with the European Union.
Conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades spoke a day after banks reopened their doors following an almost two-week shutdown to prevent a run on deposits by panicked Cypriots and wealthy foreign depositors as the east Mediterranean island flirted with bankruptcy.
"We have no intention of leaving the euro," Anastasiades told a conference of civil servants in the capital, Nicosia.
"In no way will we experiment with the future of our country."
Anastasiades, barely a month in the post, criticized Cyprus's partners in the 17-nation currency bloc, accusing them of making "unprecedented demands that forced Cyprus to become an experiment."
For the first time in Europe's handling of its debt crisis, bank depositors have been forced to bear some of the cost of a rescue plan intended to keep the country solvent and in the euro zone.
"We have averted the risk of bankruptcy," Anastasiades said. "The situation, despite the tragedy of it all, is contained."
(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Giles Elgood, John Stonestreet)