Cyprus bailout must be linked to anti-money laundering monitoring

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Cyprus bailout must be linked to anti-money laundering monitoringA financial rescue package for Cyprus must be linked to close and continuous monitoring of its progress in implementing anti-money laundering policies, the European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi said yesterday. Mario Draghi informed European lawmakers that the crucial part was implementing all relevant laws and not just putting them on the books. A final deal should provide for ‘close monitoring’ of anti-money laundering mechanisms on the island, he said. He also added that it was imperative for the next Cyprus Government to emerge from elections to commit to a financial assistance programme. ‘It is very important that a programme be agreed,’ Draghi told the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. ‘We have to make sure we don’t create financial instability.’ A spokesman for the German finance ministry considers March 2013 to be the earliest date at which possible aid for Cyprus would be discussed at the Eurogroup. ‘It now depends on how quickly Cyprus will be in a position for talks,’ spokesman Martin Kotthaus said at a press briefing in Berlin. ‘The topic will be on the table of the March Eurogroup at the earliest,’ he said.