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A deal to save Greece

Gavin Hewitt | 12:39 UK time, Thursday, 11 February 2010

group_595.jpgIt looks as if there is a deal to bail out Greece. It was agreed by a fairly small group which included the leaders of the two strongest countries in the Eurozone, France and Germany. Also present was the head of the European Central Bank, the Greek prime minister and the president of the European Commission.

We are likely to know some details later although not, necessarily, the whole package.

Firstly, what we are looking out for is whether this deal goes beyond a political statement of support.

Secondly, in exchange for helping Greece out, what are the conditions? German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "Greece would not be left on its own but there are rules and these rules must be adhered to." President Barroso talked this morning of Greece having to do more to rein in its deficit.

The Greek people will be watching to see if they face additional austerity measures and the markets, too, will need convincing.

Thirdly, we don't yet know in what form this help will come. Will it be a credit line, guarantees for a loan or a combination of support? And the crucial question is where that money is coming from and what is the exposure for European tax payers?


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