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AP Interview: Cypriot central bank chief slams talk of debt writedown, money laundering

  • 073d1255d2f6b001260f6a706700b188.jpg

    Cyprus’ Central Bank chief Panicos Demetriades is seen during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in central bank of Cyprus in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Demetriades said banks which took huge losses on Greek debt and loans will need “less than €10 billion ($13.33 billion)” to recapitalize, even in the worst-case scenario. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) (The Associated Press)

  • 4d3274ced2f6b001260f6a706700fb7f.jpg

    Cyprus’ Central Bank chief Panicos Demetriades gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in central bank of Cyprus in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Demetriades said banks which took huge losses on Greek debt and loans will need “less than €10 billion ($13.33 billion)” to recapitalize, even in the worst-case scenario. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) (The Associated Press)

Cyprus' Central Bank chief has ruled out writing down the country's debt as part of an international bailout program being negotiated.

Panicos Demetriades told The Associated Press that Cypriot banks that took huge losses on Greek debt will need "less than €10 billion ($13.33 billion)" in rescue money, easing concerns that the amount would push the country's debt to unmanageable levels.

He said in an interview that Cyprus would move ahead with privatizing state-owned companies if it's deemed necessary to make its debt viable, despite political resistance at home.

Demetriades said reports that Cyprus is a money laundering haven are "greatly exaggerated" and "fueled by political considerations in other countries."