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Rating Agency Says Greek Actions Ease Concerns

The Greek government's efforts to cope with a debt crisis have won a vote of confidence from a key rating agency.

Standard & Poor's was reviewing the troubled nation's finances for a possible downgrade, but now says the action is not necessary at this time.

Greece is coping with a budget deficit that is far above the limits that are supposed to be followed by nations using the euro.

Athens is cutting salaries of public servants and raising some taxes in an effort to close a major budget gap.

Greece needs to borrow tens of billions of dollars, and a lower credit rating would prompt lenders to charge higher interest rates, greatly increasing the nation's costs.

The S & P analysts write that Greece can probably reach its deficit reduction targets this year. But the report says it will be "difficult" to reach its financial goals in later years.

On Monday, Eurozone finance ministers agreed on coordinated action to help Greece financially if necessary.

Eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the ministers ruled out loan guarantees for Greece, meaning the EU would not back up any bilateral loan between an EU member and Greece.

He said the ministers want to encourage Greece to return to borrowing on the international markets as soon as possible.

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