Cyprus lawmakers revote on key privatization bill after initial rejection put bailout at risk

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus lawmakers will vote a second time on legislation allowing the privatization of state-owned companies that has proved widely unpopular.

Cyprus must raise 1.4 billion euros ($1.93 billion) from privatizations as a condition of its 10 billion-euro ($13.77 billion) rescue deal with other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

But the legislation was narrowly defeated last week amid strong opposition from parties who see privatizations as a sell-out of national wealth leading to mass layoffs.

The government has made revisions to the legislation that it says addresses job security concerns. Tuesday’s vote comes a day before a deadline set by creditors.

Demonstrators, including from the telecommunications authority that’s slated for privatization, gathered outside parliament to protest the legislation.