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Cyprus: No money to pay government workers

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- The Cypriot finance ministry's top civil servant has warned that government workers may go unpaid this month because state coffers are depleted.

Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Christos Patsalides is asking state-owned companies to lend the government some €250 million ($329 million) from their pension funds.

Patsalides says the loan would allow the government to continue paying salaries until the end of February, by which time the country expects to start receiving money from a bailout agreement it is finalizing with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Patsalides told the Parliamentary Finance Committee on Monday that without the loan, Cyprus' credit rating would be cut to the 'selective default' category.