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Euro Finance Ministers Grant Ireland, Portugal Eased Debt Terms

Euro-area finance ministers agreed to extend maturities on rescue loans to Ireland and Portugal, easing the terms on two recipients of European bailout aid in a show of support for their commitment to austerity.

The ministers gave no details on the extension. Those will be worked out by the so-called troika that oversees euro-area bailouts and the European Financial Stability Facility, the currency bloc’s temporary rescue fund, the finance chiefs said today. The details will be presented to euro ministers at the same time as the memorandum of understanding underlying a rescue program for Cyprus.

“The Eurogroup ministers are determined to support Ireland’s and Portugal’s efforts to regain full market access and successfully exit their well-performing programs, in the context of continued strong program implementation and compliance,” the group said in a statement in Brussels.

Ireland and Portugal have sought to return to the bond market after soaring yields prevented their governments from borrowing in 2010 and 2011. Ireland sold 10-year bonds this week for the first time since receiving its bailout assistance, marking a milestone in overcoming the debt crisis.

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