Cyprus dodged a disorderly default and unprecedented exit from the euro by bowing to demands from creditors to shrink its banking system in exchange for 10 billion euros ($13 billion) of aid.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades agreed to shut the country’s second-largest bank under pressure from a German-led bloc in a nighttime negotiating melodrama that threatened to rekindle the debt crisis and rattle markets.
The breakthrough came when Anastasiades bartered with officials including EU President Herman Van Rompuy, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. It was then sealed by the finance ministers, some of whom went out to dinner while the talks were ongoing.
“This solution we reached tonight doesn’t have the downsides that the solution of last week did,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the euro ministers’ panel. He said the deal was beyond the range of “political possibilities” a week ago.