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Cyprus looks at a larger bailout bill

April 12, 2013 at 7:56 AM   |   Comments

NICOSIA, Cyprus, April 12 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the government of Cyprus said the country might sell some of its gold reserves to pay its share of an increasingly expensive bailout.

"The Cypriot government put various options forward, including this," spokesman Christos Stylianides said.

The BBC reported Friday the cost of the bailout has jumped from $22.8 billion to $30 billion, which Stylianides blamed on former President Dimitris Christofias for failing to "take responsibility and complete indecisiveness."

The increased cost is expected to be the responsibility of Cyprus alone as Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden said the European community and the International Monetary Fund were not likely to increase their share.

The bailout for Cyprus is already the first set up in Europe that asks bank depositors to pay for a part of the bill.

Under the current terms of the bailout, depositors with more than $130,600 in the bank will pay a portion of the bill.

Cyprus this week relaxed some of the restrictions it had imposed on bank transactions that were meant to prevent a run on the country's banks.

The new rules allow for transactions of as much as $392,000. Under previous rules, small businesses complained they could not meet their payroll obligations or pay for supplies.

The bailout for Cyprus is expected to be the focus of high level talks scheduled for Friday in Dublin. In addition, finance ministers are expected to discuss the growing concern regarding the financial stability of Slovenia and progress Greece has made complying with the terms of its bailout package.

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