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March 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM
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Crisis contained, says Cypriot president

NICOSIA, Cyprus, March 29 (UPI) -- Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday that Cyprus would remain in the eurozone but criticized the bailout deal that made that possible.

Anastasiades, speaking in Nicosia, said the bailout deal from Brussels made "unprecedented demands that forced Cyprus to become an experiment."

"We have averted the risk of bankruptcy. The situation, despite the tragedy of it all, is contained," he said.

The BBC reported that restrictions on bank withdrawals in Cyprus could remain in effect for a month, although there are no longer lines of anxious depositors seeking withdrawals from the country's banks.

Cyprus imposed restrictions on how much money could be taken from bank accounts and how much could leave the country to prevent a run on banks as depositors tried to avoid a tax imposed on larger bank accounts or feared the banks would fail.

Cyprus is the fifth eurozone country to receive a bailout, joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

NYC council works on sick-leave bill

NEW YORK, March 29 (UPI) -- New York City could soon join Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Seattle and Washington with a law to guarantee sick-leave benefits for workers.

Late-night negotiations on a proposed law have resulted in a compromise between liberals representing workers and a resistant group representing the business community, The New York Times reported Friday.

As part of the compromise, the law would not require five paid sick days per year to take effect until 2014. It also applies only to companies with 15 or more workers, as opposed to other cities where the threshold is five workers.

The proposal, which must by approved by the City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is expected to be vetoed by the mayor, but there are enough council members favoring the measure to override Bloomberg's veto, the Times said.

The measure already had a tough time getting by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. But since she announced her ambitions to try to succeed Bloomberg as mayor, liberal politicians, union leaders and even feminist Gloria Steinem have increased their public rhetoric challenging Quinn to put the measure up for a vote.

Some believe the deal, which also ensures workers do not lose their jobs due to absences for illness, does not press companies hard enough.

"It's not perfect. But it's very important to get this done in New York," said Sherry Leiwant, co-president of A Better Balance, a group that was lobbying for the l aw.

The law would force employers with fewer than 15 workers to allow five days of sick leave, but without pay, the Times said.

Michigan right-to-work law now in effect

DETROIT, March 29 (UPI) -- Michigan's new right-to-work law took effect and Gov. Rick Snyder called it a time of opportunity. Protesters disagreed and demanded his removal.

The law allows an employer to hire workers who do not want to join a union even if the business is unionized. That means a worker can avoid paying dues to a union but receive the wages and benefits the union has worked to secure for its members.

About 40 protesters were outside the Detroit Athletic Club where the governor was attending a Pancakes and Politics breakfast event, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

"Tricky Ricky's got to go," they said.

Snyder had said the right-to-work law was too divisive for a state such as Michigan, known as a union stronghold. Right-to-work legislation was then pushed through with minimal debate during a lame-duck session last year.

""This is a moment of clarity, of opportunity, a chance to move forward," Snyder said at the breakfast event.

"Talking about change, when you have change, you will have concerns from people. I respect the people outside [the protesters]. I respect democracy. It's that human-nature feature; everyone likes change, except when it affects you," he said.

Taiwan bank opens branch in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, March 29 (UPI) -- The Taiwan Co-operative Bank opened a branch in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the bank said.

It is second Taiwanese bank to have a presence in Cambodia, joining Mega International Commercial Bank in September 2011, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

The growth of Cambodia's garment industry was cited as the main reason for the increasing presence of Taiwanese banks in the country.

"The Phnom Penh branch of the Taiwan Co-operative Bank is the beginning of ... its expansion onto the Indochina peninsula," the bank's chairman was quoted as saying.

The bank also has a branch in Manila.

Ouk Maly, deputy governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said the opening of the new branch reflected the private sector's confidence in Cambodia's local banking and finance industry and would help draw new technology and jobs to the country, the report said.

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