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EU Ministers Meet For Aid Talks



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Bailout Money For Debt-Laden Greece

Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet in Brussels later today to discuss the next instalment of bailout money for debt-laden Greece.

Greece is due about 31bn euros ($40bn; �25bn) in bailout loans. However, Eurozone members fundamentally disagree on how to deal with Greece's vast debt mountain. It will be the third such meeting in two weeks. Greece was supposed to get the money back in May, and is being kept afloat on emergency loans.

The meeting is aimed at reaching agreement among the 17 Eurozone members about creating a plan to return Greece to financial health. The European Union's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Ollie Rehn, said it was vital a deal was struck for Greece. "It is important for Greece, important for Europe and I want to encourage all the euro area member states and the IMF to go the last mile in order to find an agreement, in fact go the last centimetre because we are so close to an agreement," he said.

"This is essential now, and Greece has delivered. Now it is delivery time for the Euro-group and the IMF." The ministers also need to reach agreement with the International Monetary Fund over how best to keep Greece funded and reduce its debt, which is expected to reach 190% of its gross domestic product next year. They want to get that rate down to 120% in the next eight to 10 years. Until they can agree on how best to do that, they are reluctant to release any more loans to the country for fear the support will become permanent.

On Sunday, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said it would be "irresponsible" to fail to reach an agreement this time around "given the efforts everyone has made". He said the Eurozone was "very close to a solution". "I don't know if there will be an agreement, I know it is possible and I want one."

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