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Eurozone leaders agree Greek payout

Eurozone finance ministers have said Greece will receive its next instalment of aid money, saving the country from a potentially disastrous default.

The ministers said Greece will receive the funding of about 8 billion euro (£6.9 billion) next month, as long as the International Monetary Fund signs off on its part in the coming weeks.

The ministers also said they are working on a second rescue package for the debt-ridden country, which would include new aid money and contributions from the private sector.

They did not give details about the new package.

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the announcement, calling it a "positive step".

It comes a day after Greek politicians approved new, deeply contentious, austerity measures.

The new austerity Bill will ensure next year's fiscal targets are met and "sets the basis for the necessary structural reforms", he said.

"The great sacrifices of the Greek people and the implementation of tough but nationally necessary rescue measures are the basis not only for the sixth tranche, but for the new programme that will ensure the long-term viability of the Greek public debt," Mr Venizelos said.

The money will keep Greece afloat for a little longer, but most economists agree that the country also needs a substantial cut to its debt load.

The finance ministers said they were looking at ways to do that, including imposing bigger losses on the banks that hold Greek bonds. If those debts are not reduced, Greece will not be able to raise money on financial markets for another decade, according to a new report by the country's international creditors.


From Belfast Telegraph