French lower house approves Greek loan plan

France's lower house of parliament approved early on Tuesday the French portion of a European aid package for Greece.

French lower house approves Greek loan plan

France's lower house of parliament approved early on Tuesday the French portion of a European aid package for Greece, which calls on Paris to lend Athens up to 16.8 billion euros ($22.4 billion) over the next three years.

The main government and opposition parties voted together to support the project and the upper house Senate is expected to give its approval by Friday, opening the way for the release of 3.9 billion euros in French funding to Greece this year.

The European Union and International Monetary Fund have offered Greece 110 billion euros spread over three years to help the country overcome its debt and deficit crisis.

"We have to act quickly because, for the first time in its history, the stability of the euro zone is at stake," Economy Minister Christine Lagarde told the lower house.

Although the opposition Socialists backed the package, they criticised the decision to make Greece pay 5 percent interest on the loans, saying the money should have been offered at a lower rate.

Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2010, 14:57
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