Cyprus seeks bailout deal by month's end

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Cyprus' government spokesman says the country is looking to clinch a bailout deal with potential creditors in the coming weeks so that the agreement can get the backing of the other 16 countries that use the euro when their finance ministers meet next month.

Stefanos Stefanou said Friday the government is working so that an agreement with the "troika" of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund can be hammered out by the Nov. 12 meeting.

The leftist government has drawn up its own proposals _ now being discussed with opposition parties and trade unions _ that match the troika's recommended austerity measures worth about (EURO)1 billion ($1.3 billion), but with smaller public sector salary and pension cuts and more taxes.

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