Cyprus's finance minister said today that he expected final negotiations to start with lenders on financial aid possibly by next week.

Vassos Shiarly told reporters that a figure had not been set for Cyprus's financial needs.

This is because of a difference of opinion between the government and lenders.

There is widespread speculation that the country's bailout will exceed €10 billion, or 60% of its GDP.

Cyprus applied for aid from the EU and the IMF in June to support its banks after they reported massive losses on their exposure to Greece.