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Europe Moves Quickly to Disburse Bailout Money for Greece


Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou (r) talks with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos during a parliament session in Athens June 30, 2011.

Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou (r) talks with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos during a parliament session in Athens June 30, 2011.

European officials are moving quickly to disburse more bailout money to Greece to keep the debt-ridden country from defaulting on its loans.

Europe's finance ministers agreed Friday to hold a video conference Saturday to release $17 billion to Greece, part of the $156 billion bailout it secured last year from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Earlier, the officials had planned to meet Sunday in the aftermath of two votes this week by the Greek parliament approving an austerity plan to increase taxes, cut spending and sell state-owned assets.

Officials said the $17 billion would be enough for Greece to pay its bills through the summer. But the finance ministers said they needed more time to consider details of Greece's request for a second bailout of about the same size as last year's.

They are not expected to take action on the new bailout until later this summer.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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