Greece's coalition parties must tell the European Union today whether they accept the painful terms of a new bailout deal, as EU patience is wearing thin with political dithering in Athens when it comes to the implementing reforms.
Technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos put on a brave face as he tried to get leaders of the three parties in his government to sign off the terms of a €130 billion ($170 billion) rescue on Sunday, which Greece needs soon in order to avoid a chaotic debt default.
The latest details indicate that Athens is pursuing banks, insurers and the ECB itself to take losses of about 70% so that Greece can ease its €100 billion debt burden, with a €14.5 billion deadline due to be paid by mid-March.
A survey showed on Friday that Britain's dominant services sector expanded in January at the fastest pace in 10 months and firms grew much more optimistic, which crowned a raft of data this week that raised hopes that the economy may avoid recession. The figures will be food for thought for the Bank of England as it considers whether to extend its quantitative easing programme of gilt purchases next week, after the completion of the £75 billion it started in October.
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