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Eurozone Ministers Approve 8 Billion-Euro Bailout Aid To Greece

The EU and Greek flags fly in front of dark rain and thunderstorm clouds in Athens in early October.
Eurozone finance ministers have approved the next tranche of Greek bailout loans, a key move that helps the debt-stricken country stave off default.

Once the 8 billion-euro ($11 billion) loan is signed off on by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), officials said Athens should get the funds by mid-November.

The finance ministers were meeting in Brussels for negotiations aimed at resolving the eurozone's debt crisis.

There have been reports of deep divisions between France and Germany, in particular over how to increase the firepower of the eurozone's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, from its current 440 billion euros.

As he arrived at the meeting, Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of the eurogroup and the prime minister of Luxembourg, said the delay to a deal portrayed a "disastrous" image of the eurozone.

"The image to outside is disastrous," Juncker said. "We are not giving a prime example of fine governance, and we will soon have to figure out how to change the view that others have of us."

Ministers from all 27 EU countries are scheduled to join the talks on October 22.

EU leaders will also gather on October 23 and have announced plans for another meeting next week.

compiled from agency reports