Luxembourg, Malta Stress Distance from Cyprus

The risks posed by hosting a large financial industry became a flash point on Wednesday as the Cyprus bailout trained the spotlight on other small euro nations that depend on the sector for jobs and economic growth, The Wall Street Journal reported. The issue has become a sore spot mainly for Luxembourg and Malta after the debate over Cyprus prompted European ministers and politicians to question the viability of housing a large financial center in a small country. Cyprus's bailout requires the country to shrink its large financial services industry to the euro-zone average, setting an unwelcome precedent for nations whose economic models are based on financial services. The decision to impose losses on Cypriot bank deposits as part of the bailout has also raised fears in some countries that the euro zone is turning itself into a less attractive environment for global finance. Luxembourg, which is one of the euro zone's biggest financial centers despite its tiny size, fired back on Wednesday, issuing a statement saying it was concerned about recent "comparisons between the business model of international financial sectors in the euro area." Read more. (Subscription required.)