Eurogroup meeting: extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 24/03/2013 First transmission: 24/03/2013
On 24 March, the Finance Ministers of Euro area is gathering in Brussels to discuss the developments in Cyprus.
The Eurogroup will discuss with the Cypriot authorities a draft new proposal seeking to forge a plan to raise money. Cyprus has to raise 5.8 billion euros in order to secure 10 billion euros in rescue loans from other European countries that use the single currency, as well as from the IMF.
The troika (IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission) will discuss whether the plan that the Cypriots devise will meet the requirements for any international bailout package. Then, the plan is to be presented to the eurozone finance ministers for final approval.
The difficult talks are expected to last through the night.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Luc Frieden, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg
||SOUNDBITE (in French) Luc Frieden, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg: We have to find an agreement tonight because we need to save Cyprus but also to ensure the stability of the Eurozone. A failure would be really bad for our stability that we have just recovered.
||Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Michael Noonan: There is a meeting going on now with the principals of the troika with the Cypriot authorities and I am not sure that it will end at 6 o'clock. We are expecting quite a long night.
||SOUNDBITE (in Spanish) Luis de Guindos Jurado, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, saying that: We will discuss, it is important that we find a solution. It is important for Cyprus and for the EU. It is a single case, so we have to find an appropriate solution. I am confident that we will find an agreement late this night.
||Jutta Urpilainen, Finnish Minister for Finance
||Vittorio Grilli, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance
||SOUNDBITE (in French) Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Industry: We must support Cyprus in cleaning up its banking system. It goes trough deep restructuration, deeper monitoring, sharing the burden. The Eurozone making its part with 10 billion euros loans, the Cyprus authorities have to take its responsibility too, but fairly. I said early that a tax on savings accounts with less that 100 000 is not a option.
||SOUNDBITE (German) Wolfgang Schauble, Federal Minister for Finance of Germany: I hope we will be able to reach an agreement, however this demands that Cyprus must see the situation realistically. We are ready for a solution, we want to do everything and not spend every weekend here, but it does not depend on us, but Cyprus.