Cyprus had originally been asked to find around €7bn, with its international lenders – the European Union and International Monetary Fund – stepping in with a further €10bn.
Yet a spokesman for its government, Christos Stylianides, admitted yesterday: “It is a fact the memorandum of November talked about €17.5bn in financing needs. [But] it has emerged this figure has become €23bn.”
Stylianides blamed the previous administration’s indecision for the escalating costs.
The ongoing saga of Cyprus’s bailout will top the agenda of a two-day meeting of EU finance ministers – known as the Eurogroup – that starts today in Dublin.
While the programme has already been agreed, debate over the details is likely to dominate the informal Eurogroup sessions.
Cyprus is expected to sell €400m worth of its gold reserves, and will have to raise corporate tax and capital gains tax rates at a time when its economy is forecast to contract more than 12 per cent in the next two years.