Cyprus bailout talks resume

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Associated Press

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 4:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 4:03 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Senior officials from Cyprus' prospective international lenders are starting a new round of talks with Cypriot authorities with the aim of finalizing a financial rescue package for the country by the end of the month.

Representatives from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund began talks Wednesday with top Cypriot officials, including Finance Minister Michalis Sarris.

Cyprus urgently needs as much as €17 billion ($22.16 billion) to stave off bankruptcy after its banks lost billions on bad Greek debt. The amount is roughly equivalent to Cyprus' annual economic output, raising doubts whether the country can pay it off.

Cyprus' government has ruled out forcing either Cypriot bank bondholders or depositors to share the cost of a bailout.

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