Cyprus should not take over the rotating presidency of the European Union next month because it has sought emergency funding, the head of a business group linked to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said on Tuesday.

Cyprus, which is due to take over the six-month presidency from Denmark on Sunday, has a banking sector heavily exposed to debt-crippled Greece and said on Monday it was formally applying for help from the EU’s rescue funds.

“This is the paradox of the European Union, that the dog should be put in charge of the supply of sausages!” said Kurt Lauk, president of the economic advisory board linked to Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats.

Lauk called for all countries which have received bailouts -- which also include Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece -- to be barred from holding the EU presidency, which helps to set the agenda of the 27-nation bloc.

[Reuters] - Ekathimerini.com