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Cyprus bailout likely closer to $13BN

Thursday - 3/14/2013, 10:01am  ET

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- A bailout package for Cyprus and its troubled financial sector would likely be closer to EUR10 billion ($13 billion) than the earlier floated EUR17 billion, according to a top European Union official.

Speaking to Dutch national broadcaster NOS outside a debate with the Dutch parliament late Wednesday, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said reports Cyprus will receive EUR17 million were mistaken. The Netherlands' finance minister also heads the Eurogroup, the regular meetings of finance ministers of the 17-country eurozone.

"That's going considerably lower, in the direction of ten billion," Dijsselbloem said. He didn't give specifics about the package, which will be discussed Friday in Brussels. But he said Russia might help more than it has already and Cyprus would not be left with an unsustainable debt load.

In Brussels, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said his government was working toward a final agreement with the so-called troika of international lenders -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund -- on a memorandum of understanding that would accompany any bailout.

Anastasiades said Cyrpus would move decisively to implement any commitments it made.


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