Greek and Spanish Economies on the Agenda in Brussels
Euro zone finance ministers from the 17 nations sharing the euro will meet in Brussels today to discuss the final approval on the second bailout package for Greece, after bondholders agreed last week to take up to 74 percent loss on the country's debt.
The ministers will also focus on Spain's budget-cutting efforts and Portugal's aid program.
Earlier this month Spanish government said that it would miss a deficit target of 4.4 percent of GDP for 2012 agreed with Brussels. The expected deficit level is now at 5.8 percent.
The Spanish economy minister, Luis De Guindos, said that he was sure that the EU's finance ministers would acknowledge the significant efforts that Spain was making to cut its budget deficit.
Spain's economy is contracting, and the country is expected to implement the planned 30 billion euros of spending cuts this year. The government is under political pressure, over the weekend hundreds of thousands of people protested in Madrid against government labour reforms.
Finance ministers are also expected to give Greece their final approval for a second bailout worth 130 billion euros, the largest restructuring of government debt in history.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Eurogroup, said “the necessary conditions are in place to launch the relevant national procedures required for the final approval” of its bailout.
The IMF will meet on 15 March to decide what it will contribute to the euro zone bailout.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.