Eurozone Set to Finalize Greece Bailout

Finance ministers inching closer to a $171B deal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2012 2:27 PM CST
Eurozone Set to Finalize Greece Bailout
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, second right, speaks with his counterparts from Belgium and France, along with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, Feb. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

(Newser) – Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels today, in a meeting that they believe will finalize a $171 billion second bailout for Greece, in exchange for roughly $264 billion in Greek government bonds. "I'd like to assume that we will come to a final and definitive agreement tonight," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Greece has fulfilled all the prior commitments that we asked of it."

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But not everyone was feeling so magnanimous. Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager is calling for permanent oversight of Greece from a "troika" consisting of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. "When you look at the derailments in Greece, which have occurred several times now, it's probably necessary that there's some kind of permanent presence," he said. But Germany's representative said that the main remaining issue is the size of a new aid program for Greece, Bloomberg reports. (Read more Greece stories.)

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