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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

EU extends Spain’s deficit timeline by 1 year

Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindo, right, with ECB chief Mario Draghi

By DON MELVIN and SLOBODAN LEKIC

BRUSSELS — The European Union worked towards stabilizing Spain’s finances Tuesday as it backed up the blueprint for the country’s €100 billion bank bailout plan with plans to grant the country an extra year to cut its budget deficit.

Finance ministers from the 27 EU countries, meeting in Brussels, approved extending Spain’s deadline for achieving a budget deficit of less than 3 percent of its annual economic output, until 2014, said Vassos Shiarly, Cyprus’ finance minister and chair of the meeting. The size of Spain’s economy in 2011 is estimated to have been $1.5 trillion.

The move comes on the heels of an overnight meeting at which the 17 euro area finance ministers agreed on the terms of a bailout for Spain’s troubled banks, saying that the first €30 billion ($36.88 billion) in aid can be ready by the end of this month.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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