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EU finance ministers to talk tough on austerity

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EU finance ministers to talk tough on austerity
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The finances of Greece and Cyprus are set to come under the microscope at a Eurozone finance ministers meeting.

The eurogroup has to decide whether to extend bailout payments to both countries or demand further austerity measures.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup said: “We’ll be discussing Portugal, Greece, Cyprus. Of course we’ll meet our new colleague from Italy. And we’ll look ahead to tomorrow’s meeting of the Ecofin concerning banking union, which also touches on, or has a direct relation to the ESM (European Stability Mechanism).”

Ministers are expected to give their approval to Cyprus’s first aid tranche, worth €3bn, and also to sign off the latest instalment of Greece’s own package

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the “troika” of international lenders behind the bailout, said Greece had made “progress” in tackling its budget deficit over the last three years.

But it also said structural reforms to the economy had been “insufficient” and problems of tax evasion had not been addressed.