Euro zone finance ministers to meet on Cyprus

Wednesday 13 March 2013 11.17
Eurogroup Chairman calls extraordinary session for Friday in Brussels to discuss rescue loans for Cyprus
Eurogroup Chairman calls extraordinary session for Friday in Brussels to discuss rescue loans for Cyprus

The finance ministers of the 17 euro zone countries will hold a special meeting to discuss the planned bailout programme for Cyprus.

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem today called an extraordinary session for Friday in Brussels to discuss the rescue loans for the cash-strapped country.

Cyprus needs up to €17 billion to recapitalise its banks and keep its government afloat.

Dijsselbloem's spokeswoman, Simone Boitelli, says it is too early to gauge whether the ministers will make a final decision on the bailout at the meeting.

She says the "troika" of creditors - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - will report back on negotiations with the new Cypriot government.

Ministers are aiming to finalise the bailout package by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Cyprus' president said the current round of talks with the troika is showing signs of progress.

Nicos Anastasiades urged patience, saying that it will soon become clear that "hard work produces good results."

Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides said authorities were "working ceaselessly" to reach a bailout accord as soon as possible to end the uncertainty that is dragging the economy down.

Stylianides added that the proposal to make forcing bank bondholders or depositors to share in the cost of the bailout or further cuts to wages and pensions conditions of accepting the rescue loans were off the table.