Greece Inches Toward Debt Deal

    A 10 euro note sits with a set of five euro notes displaying the European Union (EU) flag in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. The euro strengthened and commodities rallied as an official at a Group of 20 nation said the International Monetary Fund is proposing a $1 trillion expansion of its lending resources. U.S. index futures rose before Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports earnings. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Simon Dawson, Bloomberg / Getty Images

    A debt “haircut” didn’t do the trick, so Greece’s leaders have been pressing creditors to shave off just a little bit more of the country’s crippling national debt. After weeks of tense negotiations, which broke down several times as the International Monetary Fund also pressured bankers to accept major losses, Greek leaders and representatives from the banks’ lobby are crawling toward a deal. The initial haircut reduced the value of Greek debt by 50 percent, and bankers have now agreed to an additional trim that would take that number up to near 70 percent. As they negotiate, Greece also faces pressure from Europe to slash spending ahead of its next bailout payment, which is difficult because the country’s economy has collapsed.

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