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Cyprus minister skips Eurogroup due to troika talks

20 November, 2012

Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly cancelled his trip to Brussels for Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting due to ongoing talks with foreign lenders on a bailout package, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The troika of European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund lenders had been due to leave Nicosia on Sunday but extended their stay to the middle of this week as both sides try to overcome differences and reach a deal.

The two sides are at odds over a host of issues including the amount needed to recapitalise the island's two leading banks -- Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Popular Bank -- as well as on privatisations and pension cuts.

The latest round of talks began on Monday morning and were expected to last through to Tuesday, which government officials have described as "make or break talks".