Sunday, 3 July 2011

Greece crisis Eurozone backs 12bn euros in aid

Eurozone finance ministers have approved the latest tranche of emergency help for the Greek economy.

They will release 12bn euros (£10.4bn, $17.4bn) in the next two weeks to help Greece meet spending commitments and avoid defaulting on its huge debts.

Earlier this week, the Greek parliament passed tough austerity measures demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

MPs backed the measures despite angry protests on the streets of Athens.

The EU and IMF have already agreed to provide Greece with a total of 110bn euros in emergency loans, with eurozone finance ministers discussing the details of a second bail-out designed to help Greece pay its debts until the end of 2014.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the eurozone move, saying it "strengthened the country's international credibility".

He added: "What is crucial now is the timely and effective implementation of the decisions taken in parliament, so we can gradually emerge from the crisis in the interest of national economy and the Greek citizens."

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