NICOSIA, Cyprus – Lawmakers in Cyprus have approved the budget for 2016 when the European Union member country expects to wrap up a rescue program that saved it from financial meltdown.
The budget passed with 29 votes in favor in the 56-seat parliament late Thursday.
Three years of creditor-mandated fiscal belt-tightening and reforms have put Cyprus' economy on the mend, with growth next year expected to reach around 1.5 percent of gross domestic product — the highest in seven years.
The March 2013 bailout deal forced a seizure of uninsured deposits in the country's two largest banks and the closure of the smaller lender.
The small east Mediterranean country continues to face challenges including 15 percent unemployment and a huge number of bad loans that are putting a drag on growth.