ECONOMY

Greek bailout approval due this week, ministers say

Greece?s second bailout, worth 130 billion euros, will be approved this week, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on Monday.

“There’s no more doubt,» Schaeuble told reporters on arrival for talks with eurozone counterparts.

“The second aid programme will be signed this week,» he said of public-sector loans whose release was contingent on a massive write-down of privately-held Greek debt that was completed on Monday.

A Greek Finance Ministry statement said bonds issued under Greek law with a total face value of 177.2 billion euros were exchanged. A smaller batch worth 28.5 billion euros, issued under foreign law or by state enterprises, will be swapped in coming weeks.

There is «no doubt that the second Greek» program will be approved, Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters on his way into a Eurogroup meeting.

He said the final decision is likely to be taken on Wednesday.

Eurozone finance ministers were also due to address the issue of Spain, which surprised its partners this month when it announced that its deficit would reach 5.8 percent this year instead of the 4.4 percent target previously agreed with European Union authorities.

Schaeuble refused to compare Spain to Greece.

“Greece is a totally different case,» he told reporters. «Spain has made great progress and this has been noticed by the financial markets.”

[Combined reports]