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Cypriot government, auditors still "differ greatly" on banks' rescue cash needs

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cyprus' finance minister says the government's estimates of how much the country's ailing banks need in rescue money still "differ greatly" from those of international auditors.

Vassos Shiarly said Monday that auditors PIMCO and Deloitte recommend that the banks receive enough money to be able to survive a 'worst-case' economic crash scenario. That would require much more money than the government believes is necessary.

The auditors' report on the banks was submitted Saturday, but the exact amount won't be released until Cyprus finalizes a bailout with the other 16 countries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund, likely in March.

A preliminary bailout deal puts banks' needs at up to 10 billion ($13.64 billion), raising concerns that the tiny country won't be able to pay back the money.


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