European Union - Greece - 
Article published the Tuesday 11 May 2010 - Latest update : Tuesday 11 May 2010

Greece wants first bailout payment, as markets tumble

Demonstrators unfurl a banner in front of the Athens stock exchange


Greece on Tuesday asked for a first emergency loan of 20 billion euros from the 110-billion-euro international bailout package after the government unveiled radical pension reforms. European stock markets tumbled Tuesday after Monday's sharp rise.

Athens must comply with conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union by making deep austerity cuts that have already sparked protests and three strikes in as many months.

European stock markets slumped at the start of trading today, one day after markets around the world spiked on news of the European Union’s 750-billion euro rescue package for crisis-hit eurozone countries.

France 24 on the Greek crisis

The Paris bourse dropped 2.09 per cent in midday deals, a day after rocketing 9.66 per cent. Frankfurt on Tuesday shed 1.23 per cent, Athens lost 1.96 percent and Madrid 4.07 per cent.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that financial markets had responded “excessively” to the bailout announcement, and predicted a readjustment.

Asian markets fell earlier after joining a global surge on Monday.

The European single currency's prospects were also hit by a warning from the rating agency Moody's.

It may downgrade Portugal and lower debt-laden Greece's rating to junk status, after a similar move by Standard & Poor's.

tags: Economic crisis - Euro - European Union - France - Germany - Greece - IMF - Spain
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