Bailed-out Cyprus says first privatization of state-owned company to take place in 2 years

NICOSIA, Cyprus – The Cypriot government says the privatization of state-owned companies will start in two years, when the bailed-out country’s economy is projected to start growing again.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides says first in line for privatization is the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority.

He says the government will retain some ownership stakes, workers’ rights will be safeguarded and that employees in companies up for sale may have the option to buy shares.

Cyprus’s financial rescue deal in March with other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund obliges the country to raise 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) from privatizations and other means.

The Cabinet approved Thursday a roadmap for the privatizations, one of the conditions for the payout of additional bailout money.