Greek Leaders Fail To Reach Debt Overhaul Deal

European leaders are working on a $172 billion bailout aimed at preventing Greece from falling into bankruptcy. But the Greek finance minister will go to EU leaders empty handed. Greek lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on pension cuts among other things.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an austerity deal for Greece.

We've heard it's close, and then not so close, and now the Greek prime minister's office says there is a deal among lawmakers on a package of reforms and budget cuts in Greece. This comes after days of negotiations, at an all night session where officials were still deadlocked, early this morning, over the issue of pension cuts. The country's finance minister set off for Brussels empty handed, without a deal to give to European officials who are waiting to approve the next phase of a bailout to keep Greece out of formal bankruptcy. It seems its lawmakers, now, can send him something to tell to exasperated European officials after all. This agreement is a precondition for receiving about $170 billion in bailout aid. Greece needs that money to avoid failing to pay its bills.

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