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Greece to Receive €12bn Bailout

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TEHRAN, July 3 (ICANA) – Eurozone finance ministers have approved EUR 12 billion for Greece after the debt-ridden country passed further austerity measures despite public protests.
Sunday, July 03, 2011 11:14:03 PM
Greece to Receive €12bn Bailout

The ministers agreed on Saturday to give Greece the urgent funds, EUR 3.3 billion from the IMF, and EUR 8.7 billion from the eurozone, not later than July 15 as the fifth tranche of aid from last year's EUR 110-billion financial rescue package, AFP reported.

Despite violent popular demonstrations in the streets of Athens, Greece passed EUR 28.4 billion in budget cuts and tax hikes, and a EUR 50-billion privatization program.

Parliament debates over the austerity measures have been accompanied by strikes and violent protests.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that the funds would "strengthen the country's international credibility.”

European diplomats said the eurozone finance chiefs would discuss the second bailout again on July 11 in Brussels but that a decision will likely have to wait until September.

French banks hold a large proportion of Greek debt, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed that lenders roll over their loans into new 30-year bonds, giving Greece more time to put its financial house in order.

Some analysts believe Sarkozy wants to keep Greece in debt for decades.

German banks made a gesture on Thursday by agreeing to extend the maturities of around EUR 3.2 billion in Greek bonds due to expire between now and 2014.

On Saturday, the United States reiterated calls to Europe to find a lasting solution to the debt crisis.

"It is our hope that European leaders continue to make sure that Europe's response to the crisis is strong, flexible and effective," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to Madrid on Saturday.

Greece has a debt of over EUR 300 billion, which is worth more than 150 percent of its annual economic output.

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