Cyprus Becomes 5th E.U. Member to Seek Rescue

DAN BILEFSKY
NY Times

Cyprus on Monday said it was formally requesting a bailout from the European Union in a bid to bolster its struggling banks, making it the fifth euro zone country to request a rescue.

The announcement came after weeks of concern that the crisis in Greece and a potential Greek exit from the euro could bring down the economy in the small island nation, whose banks are heavily exposed to Greece.

The slim victory of a pro-euro party in recent Greek elections helped to temporarily alleviate that concern, even as economists said Cyprus could need as much as €10 billion, or $12.5 billion, to shore up its ailing banks and cash-strapped public sector.

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