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Greece set to gain €31.5bn lifeline from lenders

Eurozone finance ministers were last night edging towards approval of a €31.5bn (£25.4bn) tranche of lending to Greece, which the Athens government needs to avoid a default and a disastrous exit from the single currency.

Loans to Athens from the troika of the eurozone, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank were suspended in June, when it was unclear whether Greece would elect a government that would deliver on reform promises. "It is clear Greece has delivered," said the chairman of the finance ministers' group, Jean-Claude Junker, yesterday ahead of the meeting, indicating that the tranche will be approved.