Greece strikes bail-out agreement

Greek leaders have agreed a much-anticipated deal on the austerity measures required for a bail-out.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi confirmed the decision on Thursday 9 February, following several days of talks between Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and three party leaders from within his coalition cabinet.

The Greek government is thought to have been resistant to the cuts required to secure the €130 billion (£110 billion) in funding which the country needs to avoid default.

They were under pressure to reach an agreement ahead of the meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Thursday. A major bond redemption also looms in March.

Feelings were running high in Greece, where the two major unions announced a 48-hour strike for Friday and Saturday in protest at austerity plans and particularly the threat to their pensions.

The package of cuts must be approved by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank before 15 February.

European shares strengthened on the news.

This was written for our sister website, Interactive Investor

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