France allots 3.9 bln euros from budget to aid Greece

22:09, April 21, 2010      

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France is setting aside 3.9 billion euros (5.22 billion U.S. dollars) from its 2010 fiscal budget as an aid fund for debt-ridden Greece, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Wednesday.

According to a project draft presented at a cabinet meeting, France is preparing 6.3 billion euros (8.43 billion U.S. dollars) as part of an European aid plan, of which 3.9 billion euros (5.22 billion U.S. dollars) would be carved up from the 2010 public budget, local reports said.

Lagarde confirmed at a news conference that the French fund was part of a European aid plan of "bilateral loans." She said the loans would carry a five-percent interest rate over three years and that the aid to Greece would not affect the French economy because the move was strictly calculated.

France was expected to present the aid plan to the National Assembly on May 3-4 and then to the Senate House on May 6-7, Lagarde said.

Greece is struggling to reach this year's target of cutting its deficit to 8.7 percent of gross domestic product as borrowing costs keep soaring.

Greece on Tuesday raised almost 2 billion euros (2.68 billion U.S. dollars) through a new auction of 13-week treasury bills at a high rate of 3.65 percent.

On April 11, Eurozone finance ministers hammered out further details of a Greek rescue package, pledging 30 billion euros (40.17 billion U.S. dollars) in the first year if necessary.

Source: Xinhua


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