October 17, 2012 / 2:03 PM / 8 years ago

Cyprus expects swift start to bailout talks

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus’s finance minister said on Wednesday he expected final negotiations to start with lenders on financial aid by next week.

Vassos Shiarly told reporters a figure had not been set for Cyprus’s financial needs because of a difference of opinion between the government and lenders on the recapitalization requirements of banks.

Asked by Reuters whether he expected discussions with lenders to start before the end of the month, he said: “Within the month, and certainly in the coming week. Time is restricted and there is not much time left.”

There is widespread speculation Cyprus’s bailout will exceed 10 billion euros ($13 billion), or 60 percent of its GDP.

The talks involve the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. Cyprus applied for aid from the EU and IMF in June to support its banks after they reported massive losses on their exposure to Greece.

Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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