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Eurozone FinMins see positive developments in Greece

(Xinhua)

09:15, March 02, 2012

BRUSSELS, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Eurozone Finance Ministers on Thursday expressed their satisfaction about the progress made in Greece in securing a second bailout to avoid a default.

Speaking to journalists before a meeting here, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece had committed to a series of measures until the end of February and it was the condition to take the next step with the involvement of private creditors to bring about a reduction in debt.

The German parliament Monday passed the second bailout package for Greece worth about 130 billion euros. In an effort to persuade the lawmakers to give a nod to the package, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the risks of turning away from Greece are incalculable.

Schaeuble said a new program for Greece, aimed at enabling growth, bringing finances in order and reaching debt sustainability by 2020, can be agreed upon if everything went on according to plan.

Commenting on the progress in Greece with regard to the second bailout, French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said, "We are satisfied with the work that has been done. Things are moving in the right direction and we can reach an agreement."

The Greek parliament on Tuesday passed a fresh package of spending cuts. The package included new reductions on main and auxiliary pensions ranging from 12 to 20 percent, fresh freezes and reductions on salaries of civil servants and a 22-percent cut to the minimum monthly wage in the private sector with retroactive effect from mid-February.

Greece is in dire need of a second bailout to stay solvent in March when 14.5 billion euros worth of bonds are going to mature.

Eurozone finance ministers on Feb. 21 approved the second bailout deal for Greece, while demanding implementation of promised reforms.

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