Lenders claim Cyprus progress despite rising jobless numbers

THE EUROPEAN Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) both released reports on Cyprus’ bailout yesterday, suggesting that the country’s programme is on track.

But the IMF expects that unemployment in the struggling island economy will rise, from 17 per cent at the end of this year to 19.5 per cent in 2014. The report adds: “The rapid increase in youth and long-term unemployment is particularly worrying.”

The European commission added that reforms to the country’s welfare, pension and tax systems were proceeding, despite a grim economic background.