ECB guarantees Cyprus aid only through Monday

March 21, 2013

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- The European Central Bank says it will keep emergency aid for Cyprus' troubled banks in place at least until Monday but will have to cut it off after that unless an international rescue program is drawn up.

The ECB is keeping the Cypriot banks alive by allowing them to draw on emergency support from the local central bank. But the ECB has said it would cut that aid off if there is no bailout deal soon.

The ECB said Thursday that its governing council decided to maintain the current level of so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance until Monday.

But it says that, after that, such assistance can only be considered if an EU-IMF program is in place that would ensure the banks' solvency.