A top European official this week defended the EU bailout of Cyprus, as rising unemployment and non-performing bank loans continue to pose risks to the island’s fragile economy.

Speaking in the capital Nicosia on 31 March, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters that last year’s closure of one bank, and the seizure of deposits in another, had been unavoidable. (MEES, 19 April 2013). (CONTINUED - 1160 WORDS)