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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Julien Behal/PA Wire
# Summit
Eurozone meeting continues with focus on Greek debt
Finance ministers agreed on a €78m bailout package for Portugal yesterday and will focus today on rising pressure on the Greek economy.

MICHAEL NOONAN is among the Eurozone finance ministers continuing their talks in Brussels today, where the focus is on growing concerns over Greek national debt.

Yesterday, the ministers signed off on a €78m bailout package for Portugal, one-third of which will be financed by other eurozone states through the European Financial Stability Fund.

Another third will come from the EU’s other bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Mechanism, and the IMF will contribute the final part.

Greek debt

Although Greece was granted a €110bn rescue loan package last year, rising short-term debt in the country over the past year has convinced many that the rescue fund hasn’t been enough. Yesterday, the ministers disagreed over whether they should change Greece’s debt repayment terms.

Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the finance ministers’ group, said he wasn’t ruling out the possibility of delaying repayments on Greek government debt to allow the country more time to fix its economy and rebuild market trust. However, French finance minister Christine Lagarde ruled out such a move.

The BBC reports that the European Trade Union Confederation has called on the eurozone ministers to drop “brutal austerity” as the means of getting Greek debt under control, but instead to allow indebted countries the time to repair their economies.

The eurozone talks have been overshadowed by the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges in the US, where he has been detained at Rikers Island prison after being refused bail.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Strauss-Kahn held in notorious Rikers Island jail >