NICOSIA, Cyprus -- EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is urging political leaders in Cyprus to agree on austerity measures needed for a deal to bail out its ailing banks.
Barroso said Monday that it's "critically important" for the government, opposition parties, trade union and business leaders to "come to some level of consensus." He says agreement is necessary on spending cuts and tax hikes that meet targets set by the country's potential creditors or "troika" of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Opposition parties have criticized the government's proposed measures _ worth around (EURO)1 billion ($1.3 billion) _ as insufficient and incomplete. Cyprus asked for international aid in June to prop up its banks, which have been exposed to Greece's economic woes.