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News Link • Economy - International

Greece to get next rescue loan batch from eurozone

• www.businessweek.com

Finance ministers from the 17 euro countries agreed Friday to pay Greece its next batch of bailout loans, avoiding a potentially disastrous default, but acknowledged the country's debt remained too high.

Greece's debts are only one piece of Europe's economic puzzle, and the ministers met in Brussels to address two more complicated -- and arguably more important -- issues: boosting the financial firepower of the eurozone's euro440 billion ($607 billion) bailout fund to keep the larger economies of Italy and Spain from spinning out of control and forcing weak banks to boost their capital buffers as a defense against market turmoil.

After the meeting broke up Friday night, French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said they were "headed in the right direction" on these issues and their differences were narrowing. A tussle over how best to use the bailout fund derailed promises to unveil a grand plan at Sunday's summit meeting. European leaders have now scheduled another summit for Wednesday.

 

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