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|User Info||FLASH: Greece Deal Supposedly Made; entered at 2012-02-21 00:18:38|
Registered: 2007-11-26 Australia
Greece Wins Bailout as Europe Chooses Aid Over Default|
Debt-stricken Greece won a second bailout after European governments wrung concessions from private investors and tapped into European Central Bank profits to shield the euro area from a precedent-setting default.
Finance ministers awarded 130 billion euros ($173 billion) in aid, engineered the central bank profits transfer and coaxed investor representatives into providing more debt relief in an exchange offer meant to tide Greece past a bond redemption next month.
Bondholders’ response to the swap, Greece’s tolerance of more austerity and a gantlet of parliamentary approvals in northern European countries gripped by an anti-bailout mindset loom as risks to the latest salvage operation.
“Everybody understood that this was the moment of truth,” Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere told reporters early today after 13 1/2 hours of talks in Brussels.
The assistance brings to at least 386 billion euros the sums spent or committed to save Greece, Ireland and Portugal from bankruptcy, and to insulate Europe from a ruinous financial cascade that might endanger the 13-year-old monetary union.
Euro leaders point to declining bond yields in Italy and Spain as evidence that investors are less fearful that the turmoil originating in Greece, representing 2.4 percent of the continental economy, will spill across borders.
The accord lifted the 17-nation euro. It rose as high as $1.3293 at 5:30 a.m. Brussels time from an intraday peak of $1.3277 yesterday.
Greece upheld part of its side of the bargain by spelling out 325 million euros in additional spending cuts, the latest of the unpopular measures that have provoked street protests in Athens.