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Cyprus says it has successfully completed bailout review

Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades speaks to Reuters in an interview in Nicosia April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus said on Thursday it had successfully completed a second review of its economy by international lenders, which bailed the island out with 10 billion euros (8.4 billion pounds) earlier this year.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said lenders from the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission, known as the "troika", had also noted "significant progress" in restructuring the island's banking sector, downsized under terms of the bailout accord.

"It was an intensive and demanding process but it has affirmed the will and the determination of the government to implement this programme," he told reporters.

Cyprus came to the verge of default in March, pulling back from the brink at the last minute when lenders agreed to extend funding to the island on condition it wind down its oversized banking sector.

It is the second time Cyprus has received positive assessments from lenders on its commitment to an economic turnaround under a three-year adjustment programme, which also includes privatisations.

"Difficulties and problems still remain and the government will not be celebrating prematurely. Our efforts (at reform) must continue at the same pace," Georgiades said.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)