Eurogroup head attacked by MEPs over Cyprus bailout deal

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The head of the Eurogroup - which represents EU countries using the single currency - has refused to give details of the negotiations that led to a bailout package for Cyprus.

Giving evidence to the Economic Affairs Committee on 7 May 2013, Jeroen Dijsselbloem - who is also the Dutch finance minister - said "I'm not going to give details of which finance minister said what to who".

But German Green MEP Sven Giegold said the European Parliament "had a right" to know how eurozone ministers came to the deal that originally included a one-off tax on the deposits of all customers of Cypriot banks, starting at 6.75% for the smallest deposits.

This proposal led to widespread protests and was rejected by the Cypriot parliament.

Under revised terms and conditions, only deposits over €100,000 will be used to fund the bailout package.

The €10bn bailout with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was agreed by Cyprus in an attempt to stave off the collapse of its banking sector and the wider economy.

Mr Dijsselbloem insisted that the deal was "the best possible for Cyprus and a good deal for the European Union", but French liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard accused him of being "the most optimistic undertaker in Europe".

The hearing will continue from 8.30am on 8 May 2013 with evidence from the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund.

Democracy Live provides highlights of the debate, full coverage can be viewed here.

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