Greece's financial plight is easing a bit, with the government receiving
the first segment of its new bailout and at the same time attracting
investors for a bond offering.
Greek officials said Tuesday the Athens government has received $10
billion from its European neighbors and the International Monetary Fund.
The payment kept Greece from defaulting, with most of the money going to
repay bonds held by the central banks in the 17-nation euro currency
Greece sold its first bonds since reaching an agreement for its new $171
billion bailout, the country's second in two years, and elimination of
$141 billion in debt the country owed its private creditors. The country
raised $1.7 billion on the three-month loans and will pay less in
interest than it did on similar bonds before securing the debt relief.
In Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a
congressional committee that Europe has "made very significant progress"
in resolving the continent's two-year governmental debt crisis that
centered on Greece's massive financial problems.
But Geithner warned that the eurozone is only in the initial stages of
carrying out new tighter controls on spending and that "economic growth
is likely to be weak for some time." Europe is predicting its economy
will shrink slightly this year.