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Cyprus needs 75 mn euros to avoid default on bills: official

NICOSIA, (AFP) Cash-strapped Cyprus will fall short by at least 75 million euros ($97 million) to pay its bills in April, including government salaries and pensions, an official warned on Monday.

Accountant General Rea Georgiou told parliament's finance committee that the government was trying to avoid a payment default for the month of April.

"The cash deficit for April is 160 million euros. The 85 million in reserve is not enough and we need a similar amount to avoid a default," Georgiou said, as the island awaits the first tranche of a eurozone bailout due in May.