Connoisseurs of the Brussels Blog, Cyprus and various forms of edible fruit will remember a tempest in a teapot that erupted last week over leaked documents we posted which appeared to show the total cost of the Cypriot bailout growing from €17bn to €23bn after the chaos following rejection of the first €10bn programme.
The dispute centred on whether the €17bn figure, used to determine the amount of new money Cyprus needed to pay for government operations and shoring up its teetering banking sector on the night the first bailout was agreed, was comparable to the €23n figure, which was included in documents produced after the second deal was signed.
Famously, Olli Rehn, the EU’s economic chief, said comparing the two numbers was akin to “comparing apples with pears and coming up with oranges”. But he didn’t detail what the reason for the discrepancy was. We took another look at the documents and figured that, if you compare apples to apples, the new figure was probably €20.6bn, for a €3.6bn difference.
Well, thanks to a senior European Commission official who walked us through the numbers – and the Dutch finance ministry, which recently posted updated programme documents on their website here, here and here – it turns out we were close. It’s actually €20.2bn. How do they get there? A quick rundown: Read more