NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cypriot president-elect Nicos Anastasiades, armed with a clear mandate from voters to spare the island from insolvency, said on Monday he was committed to reforms in return for a financial bailout.
The Conservative Anastasiades won decisive backing in a presidential election on Sunday for an aggressive approach to resolving the island's worst financial crisis in four decades.
Less than 24 hours after his resounding victory on Sunday, Anastasiades said he would appoint Michael Sarris, a former World Bank economist who enjoys broad respect at home and abroad, as his finance minister.
Anastasiades has promised a quick deal with foreign lenders and to bring Cyprus closer to Europe, in a shift from the policies of the outgoing Communist government that first sought aid from Russia before turning to the European Union.
"Long-term prospects for Cyprus are excellent as we are committed to carrying out necessary structural reforms. We only need a helping hand now," Anastasiades told Germany's Bild newspaper, according to advance excerpts of an interview to be published in Tuesday's edition.