The International Monetary Fund has demanded that Cyprus cut state pension costs and reform its welfare system as the price of a €1bn (£854m) loan to help bail out the stricken island.


The deal, agreed in principle by the Cypriot government, provoked an immediate reaction from trade unions, which called on bank workers to strike over potential pension cuts. Officials from the Cyprus Union of Bank Employees called on bank staff in Nicosia to walk off their jobs at lunchtime on Thursday, and gather in a protest march towards the parliament.

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