Nov
30

Euro-zone leaders agree to €8 billion bailout installment for Greece

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As the euro-zone crisis continues to deepen, finance ministers of the 17 countries which use the euro have agreed to release the latest tranche of the €110 billion bailout that is being given to Greece. Without the latest installment – of €8 billion – it is estimated that Greece would run out of cash before Christmas.

The money was due to be released earlier but was held off after then-Prime Minister George Papandreou suggested that austerity measures – part of the bailout package agreement – be put to a referendum. Mr Papandreou resigned shortly afterwards and the new government has agreed to new austerity measures, savings programs and reforms.

The International Monetary Fund, which covers about a third of the bailout fund, still needs to agree to the bailout installment, but is expected to do so early next month. 

The decision to release this latest tranche was taken at a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers on Tuesday, where plans to expand the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) were also agreed on. No specific figure emerged, however. 

Ahead of an EU summit next week in Brussels, talk of countries ceding additional budgetary sovereignty to a European central authority have been increasing. Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski openly urged the creation of a federal Europe on Monday, causing a stir among conservative politicians in Poland.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy is due to present a roadmap on how to strengthen the economic union to heads of state who will assemble for the summit in Brussels on December 9. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who already put forward new proposals to strengthen budgetary surveillance and fiscal discipline, said on Monday that he believed Europe was living a moment of “acceleration of history,” regarding integration.

Article source: http://www.wbj.pl/article-57140-euro-zone-leaders-agree-to-83648-billion-bailout-installment-for-greece.html?typ=wbj

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