Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble deflected blame on Monday for a European bailout deal for Cyprus that foresees hitting small savers in the Mediterranean island's banks, saying this solution had not been a German idea and that he was open to it being changed.

"The levy on deposits below 100,000 euros was not the creation of the German government," Schaeuble told reporters in Berlin. "If one reached another solution we would not have the slightest problem."

Schaeuble added however that it was impossible to solve Cyprus's financial problems without reducing the size of its banking sector.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)