Greece clears final hurdle to get bailout funds

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou gestures during a press conference in Athens, Greece, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. Papaconstantinou outlined a recovery plan meant to extract Greece from a major debt crisis that has alarmed its EU partners and international markets, on which the country depends for borrowing. He said the budget deficit will be reduced from 12.7 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent in 2012, through spending cuts and increased tax revenues, while the crippling debt will start to be reduced in 2012 and the economy will exit a 2-year recession in 2011. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

June 30, 2011 8:24:19 AM PDT
Greece bought itself time to deal with its crippling debt crisis Thursday after lawmakers passed the second and final austerity bill essential for the release of crucial bailout funds and prevent the country from defaulting next month.