Europe

Cyprus crisis: Thousands at benefit concert for poor

Cyprus Aid concert in Nicosia
Image caption Some concert-goers compared the mood to that during the 1974 Turkish invasion

Thousands of people have attended a charity concert in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, in aid of those hardest hit by the financial crisis.

About 50 Greek and Cypriot artists performed in the afternoon and evening in the Concert of Solidarity and Help.

There was no admission fee, but concert goers were asked to bring dry food for struggling families.

Cyprus has 15% unemployment, and it faces tough austerity measures as it seeks to emerge from a banking crisis.

Image caption Organisers were pleased with the response

It needs to raise 5.8bn euros to qualify for a 10bn-euro bailout, agreed last week with the EU, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The concert was held in a moat around the 16th Century walls of the old city of Nicosia.

Organiser Nicko Zavallis told the Associated Press the response had been "amazing".

"We did not expect this outcome. People have been coming with trucks. Instead of a bag, they have been filling up trucks of goods and they have been bringing it to us," he said.

Many concert-goers were happy to help, but were themselves worried about the future.

"We came to help those who have problems. Now we can help but we don't know if we will be able to help tomorrow," dentist Christina Hadjipanaskiva said, quoted by AFP news agency.