Cyprus must decide levy structure but must total 5.8 billion euro: ECB

Published March 18, 2013

| Reuters

It is for the Cypriot government to decide the structure of a levy on depositors in its banks but the overall volume of its contribution to the bailout must amount to 5.8 billion euros, European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen said on Monday.

"It is the Cypriot government's reform program. It is up to the government alone to decide if it wants to change the structure of the ...contribution (from) the banking sector," Asmussen told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

"The important thing is that the financial contribution of 5.8 billion euros remains. It is of course in the hands of the Cypriot government and its parliament to decide on the structure."

Cyprus's parliament is due to vote on Monday on a plan to seize money from bank deposits as part of an EU bailout but its government is still working on a plan to soften the blow to smaller savers by tilting more of the levy towards those with larger deposits.

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt and Michelle Martin, editing by Gareth Jones)

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