National/World

IMF board approves nearly $40 billion Greece loan

Sunday, May 09, 2010
Greece riots

Protesters throw traffic signs against riot police in front of the Parliament building during an anti Government rally in Athens, Greeece, on Wednesday May 5, 2010. Flights to and from Greece were grounded, trains and ferries suspended their routes and public services were paralyzed Wednesday as Greek workers went on strike to protest harsh new spending cuts aimed at saving their country from bankruptcy. (AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis)

The board of the International Monetary Fund has approved its part of a $140 billion bailout package for Greece.

The board met in Washington Sunday to approve a three-year, nearly $40 billion (euro30 billion) loan for the troubled European nation. Greece has enacted broad cutbacks on government spending as a condition of the rescue, sparking riots and social unrest.

Eurozone leaders on Saturday approved a $100 billion package of loans to Greece for the next three years to keep it from imploding. The bailouts are an effort to stabilize global markets rocked last week by fears of a spreading European debt crisis.

European leaders also are meeting Sunday to hash out the terms of a proposed broader rescue. They want to have a plan in place before Asian markets open for the week.

Analysts fear the debt crisis could expand to other western European countries and hobble the global economic recovery.

President Barack Obama is keeping up pressure on European leaders to craft a solution robust enough to stabilize markets after volatility last week that rivaled swings during the peak of the 2008 financial crisis.

Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday to discuss the importance of European Union nations "taking resolute steps to build confidence in the markets," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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