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Cyprus president: no privatization in bailout deal

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Cyprus' president says he would refuse any request by international lenders to sell off state-owned companies as part of a finalized agreement to bail out the crisis-hit country.

Dimitris Christofias said Wednesday he has “no intention” of consenting to privatizations. A draft of the bailout deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund says Cyprus will have to consider privatizations if it's debt is deemed unsustainable.

Cypriot banks, which took huge losses on bad Greek debt and loans, are estimated to need up to (euro) 10 billion ($13.19 billion) in rescue money. That's more than half the country's economy, raising questions whether the government will be able to handle the debt. Cyprus' eurozone partners will decide on the country's bailout deal on Jan. 21.

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