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Euro ministers back next Greece bailout payment

BRUSSELS Greece's euro partners have agreed to hand over the next disbursement of the country's bailout loans.

The cash-strapped country will get a total of euro49.1 billion ($64 billion) between now and March.

Greece needs the money to stay afloat and avoid a potential default. Officials said the country would get euro34.3 billion ($44.7 billion) in the coming days.

The decision Thursday by the finance ministers of the 17 EU countries that use the euro came after Greece said it would buy back euro31.9 billion ($41.5 billion) of its bonds from private investors at a third of their face value, lightening its crushing debt load and meeting a key condition to receive vital rescue loans.