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U.S. treasury secretary supports Greek reform package

(Xinhua)

09:25, February 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday threw U.S. support behind the latest Greek economic reform package and said the United States would encourage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to back this agreement.

"We welcome the program of economic reforms agreed to by the Prime Minister of Greece and the coalition parties, and the public statement of support from the major economies of Europe," Geithner said in a statement.

"This is a very strong and very difficult package of reforms, deserving of support of the international community and the IMF. The United States will encourage the IMF to support this agreement, " noted the statement.

The United States is the largest shareholder of the Washington- based global lender.

The Greek cabinet approved on Saturday evening a final supplementary austerity package to secure further international financing next week to avoid bankruptcy in March.

The additional 325 million euros worth (427 million U.S. dollars) spending cuts sealed on Saturday were one of the last preconditions set by the European Union and IMF in order to give the "green light" to a 130-billion-euro bailout package to Greece, the second one in two years.

Greece has been committed to a total of 3.2 billion euros budget cuts this year included in a bill approved by the assembly on Monday in order to secure the release of further international funds on time to repay a 14.5-billion-euro bond on March 20.

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