Cypriot president-elect vows to work for swift bailout deal

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NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cypriot president-elect Nicos Anastasiades vowed on Sunday to work with Cyprus’s European Union partners to nail down a swift bailout deal to stave off insolvency in the cash-starved nation.

In a statement outlining his priorities after cruising to a resounding victory in presidential elections earlier Sunday, conservative Anastasiades, 66, said he would work for the completion of a bailout at the “earliest possible”.

He said it needed to be structured such that it safeguarded vulnerable groups, social cohesion and industrial peace.

“When facing great challenges, we want Europe by our side. On our part, we intend to be absolutely consistent and honor all our obligations,” Anastasiades said in the statement.

Cyprus’s attempts to clinch aid have been on hold for the past eight months, complicated by worries among fellow euro zone members about the island’s ability to pay off a loan which could almost equal its economic output.

Anastasiades took 57.5 percent of the vote, 15 points ahead of rival Stavros Malas, a pro-bailout but anti-austerity candidate backed by the Communist party AKEL.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas)

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