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Greece debt talks near breakthrough

Greece debt talks near breakthrough

Eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are making headway in settling a row over how to make Greece’s debt manageable, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Saturday. “We are working intensively on a compromise with the IMF on Greece and are making progress,” he said, adding it remained to be seen how much the differences had been narrowed by Tuesday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers and the IMF. The dispute is holding up the release of €31 billion in emergency loans needed to keep Greece afloat.

Greece’s international lenders agreed on Monday (12 November) to give Athens two more years to make the cuts demanded of it, leaving a funding hole of €32.6 billion in the country’s finances up to 2016. A further meeting of the IMF and eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday (20 November) is expected to decide on how to fill that gap.

In the FX market, the US dollar declined against all of its leading counterparts in overnight trade as risk appetite recovered, denting demand for the go-to safe haven currency. US President Obama and Congressional leaders on Friday that seem to be buoying hopes for a compromise to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff”. However failure to reach a deal will trigger the onset of steep tax hikes and budget cut sat the turn of the calendar year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that if the hefty dose of austerity is allowed to proceed as-is, it stands to trim US GDP growth by a hefty 0.6 percent in 2013, tipping the economy into recession in the first half of 2013.

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