The German government said on Monday it was open to changing a bailout deal for Cyprus that foresees small savers in the Mediterranean island's banks taking a hit.

"In order to achieve debt sustainability, a contribution from Cyprus is necessary, a contribution from the banking sector, from depositors and owners," Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

"How the country arrives at this contribution, how it divides it up, was and is up to the Cypriot government," he added. "As I believe the finance minister said last night on television, Germany could have imagined a different solution, a different staggering. But it was not our decision."

(Reporting by Noah Barkin)