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November 27, 2012

Ministers reach deal on bailout for Greece

By Don Melvin, The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — A European Union official told The Associated Press early Tuesday that a deal has been reached that would pave the way for Greece to receive the next installment of its much-needed bailout loans.

Part of the agreement is that the target for Greece’s debt levels – one of the conditions of the deal going ahead – would reach 124 percent of its gross domestic product by 2020. The original goal had been 120 percent of GDP.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, welcomed the agreement.

“It will certainly reduce the uncertainty and strengthen confidence in Europe and in Greece,” Draghi said.

This was the third time in the last two weeks that finance ministers from the 17 European Union countries that use the euro had tried to hammer out a deal on the next installment of bailout money for struggling Greece.

The installment, desperately needed by Greece, will total some $57 billion.

Greece, which is heavily in debt, is predicted to enter its sixth year of recession shortly, and there had been fears that it might be forced to drop out of the eurozone, destabilizing other countries in the process.

Any political agreement made Tuesday will have to be submitted to national parliaments in some countries.

After that, the finance ministers plan to hold another meeting, either in person or by telephone, to give final approval to the disbursement.





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