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Cyprus president says casinos, tax breaks, solar energy parks among steps to restart economy

Cyprus' president says the bailed-out country will open casinos and bolster its tourism sector to get the economy going again.

Nicos Anastasiades unveiled on Friday a first batch of measures he said are designed to boost growth in an economy that is projected to shrink by 13 percent until 2015.

He said Cyprus would also give businesses tax breaks for hiring new workers and set up solar energy parks. Young people will be granted state and church-owned land for cultivation. And those having homes or businesses seized because they're unable to pay off loans would be able to stay on as renters, he said.

Cyprus agreed last month on a 23 billion euro ($30 billion) rescue package with its euro area partners and the International Monetary Fund.