Tuesday November 20,2012
By Emily Fox
EU officials are finally set to reach a political accord over the 44billion euro Greek bailout fund today - an agreement which has eluded them thus far.
A discussion among the 17 finance ministers of the eurozone is currently underway as they look to sign off the multi-billion euro rescue fund.
The eurozone ministers had hoped that they would be able to sign a deal last week but talks descended into a farce as the officials failed to reach an agreement on how to deal with the crisis.
Laboring under a mountain of debt and facing a gaping budget deficit, Greece has been relying since 2010 on international bailout loans, under terms supervised by the so-called troika - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.
Meanwhile in France, the economy faced a battering after its AAA credit rating was downgraded.
Ratings agency Moody's claimed that Europe's second largest economy was threatened by its rigid labour market and exposure to Europe's financial crisis.
This is the second downgrade to hit France this year with Standard and Poors lowering their rating in January.
New socialist leader Francois Hollande has struggled to reassure exonomists of his attempts to revive the French economy since taking over from Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hollande's government has laid out a series of deficit-reduction targets, vowing to bring it in line with European rules next year.
Trouble for France would mean wider trouble for Europe. France and Germany, which underpin the group of 17 European Union countries that use the euro, have taken the lead in finding solutions to Europe's debt crisis.
Any slip in France's clout could endanger its ability to lead negotiations.
In Brussels, finance ministers will try to hammer out an agreement for Greece on the conditions attached to the aid.
Final approval for aid will have to also be voted on by certain parliaments in some of the countries, after which the ministers will meet again on the issue.
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