Cypriot president threatens resignation in bailout talks

BRUSSELS, March 24 Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:40pm EDT

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BRUSSELS, March 24 (Reuters) - Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades threatened to resign during a heated exchange with European Union and IMF officials over a rescue package for his country, a senior official taking part in the negotiations said on Sunday.

Anastasiades objected to a proposal that two Cypriot banks be shut down if Cyprus is to meet the terms of the bailout being offered by the EU and IMF, the official said.

"He offered to resign," the source said, describing the meeting, which included IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and other top officials, as tense.

The EU and IMF are offering Cyprus a 10 billion euro bailout package as long as the government can come up with 7 billion euros itself, largely through the restructuring of its banks, a process that will mean imposing a big levy on deposits over 100,000 euros.

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