Aid for Greece nears goal
Greece's international creditors on Tuesday said they had reached an agreement with Athens on reforms to put its troubled economy back on track and unlock a loan tranche needed to avert default next month.business Updated: Oct 11, 2011 21:28 IST
Greece's international creditors on Tuesday said they had reached an agreement with Athens on reforms to put its troubled economy back on track and unlock a loan tranche needed to avert default next month.
"The mission has reached staff-level agreement with the authorities on the economic and financial policies needed to bring the government's economic program back on track," said a joint statement from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
It said that a loan tranche of €8.0 billion, part of a €110-billion ($149-billion) bailout extended to Greece last year, will be available "most likely in early November" following approval by euro zone finance ministers and the IMF's executive board.
Greek reserves to pay wages and pensions run out in mid November, raising the prospect it would have to declare a default.
Slovak Euro vote
Slovakia is likely to approve a plan this week to strengthen the euro zone's EFSF rescue fund despite opposition from a junior coalition party that is abstaining from a vote on Tuesday, which may trigger the government's collapse.
"There is an assumption that the EFSF, one way or the other, will be approved by the end of the week," finance minister Ivan Miklos told lawmakers before the crunch vote on changes to the €440-billion ($590 billion) European Financial Stability Facility.
New strikes hit Greece as the government finalised talks with its EU-IMF creditors on additional spending cuts. Civil servants blocked the entrance to several ministries and teachers and municipal staff walked out on their jobs ahead of a strike on October 19. - AFP/REUTERS