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Cyprus bailout amount not up for debate: Germany

Customers queue for at a Bank of Cyprus branch in central Nicosia on April 10, 2013
Customers queue for at a Bank of Cyprus branch in central Nicosia on April 10, 2013. Germany on Friday said the amount of a eurozone bailout for Cyprus would not rise after the debt-laden island state's president said he would appeal for extra assistance.

Germany on Friday said the amount of a eurozone bailout for Cyprus would not rise, after the debt-laden island state's president said he would appeal for extra assistance.

"The contribution from international creditors will not change," government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular briefing, noting that the 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) package was "already very large".

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday he would appeal to EU chiefs for more help, a day after it emerged that the total cost of its EU-IMF bailout has surged to 23 billion euros from 17.5 billion previously.

That means Cyprus will now have to find 6.0 billion euros more than the 7.0 billion euros mooted in a preliminary agreement reached on March 25 in order to secure an EU-IMF contribution of 10 billion euros.

The news appeared to boost the teetering economy's danger of collapse and further threatened big bank deposits.

Anastasiades said he had already spoken to European Union Economy and Euro Commissioner Olli Rehn ahead of a key meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Dublin later Friday that is due to finalise the bailout terms.

He said he would also write to European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and to EU President Herman Van Rompuy but did not specify what additional support he was seeking.

A Cypriot source told AFP in Dublin that Nicosia was not seeking "extra money" from its eurozone partners but was instead looking for help from a European Commission task force to lessen the burden of measures agreed in exchange for loans.

Under the preliminary bailout terms agreed last month at talks where Germany played a key role, Cyprus committed to drastically downsizing its once lucrative banking sector, raising taxes, reducing the public sector workforce and privatising state-owned utilities.

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