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Greece Takes Critical Step Toward Avoiding Bankruptcy

The European Union flag flies in front of the Parthenon in Athens. Greece's EU partners are about to give it another massive bailout. Louisa Gouliamaki /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Louisa Gouliamaki /AFP/Getty Images

The European Union flag flies in front of the Parthenon in Athens. Greece's EU partners are about to give it another massive bailout.

Louisa Gouliamaki /AFP/Getty Images

The important takeaway from this morning's news about Europe's financial mess:

It seems less likely that Greece will go bankrupt and more likely that it will get another international bailout that hopefully will shore up the nation's economy and prevent a domino-like tumble of other ailing European nations and the unsettling repercussions that could have for the U.S. economy.

As The Associated Press writes:

"Greece took a big step toward staving off an imminent bankruptcy after securing the support of the vast majority of its bondholders in a critical bond swap that should pave the way for its second massive international bailout."

That bailout from other eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund is expected to total about $172 billion.

The Wall Street Journal sums up the news this way:

"Just over 80 percent of Greece's private-sector creditors had agreed by a Thursday evening deadline to turn in their bonds for new ones with less than half the face value, touching off a massive debt swap that marks a seminal moment in Europe's long-frustrated efforts to rescue its most financially vulnerable nation."

Or, as The Financial Times puts it (with a lede that's a bit dense for us non-economists):

"Greece was due to complete the largest ever sovereign debt restructuring on Friday as it prepared to squeeze out dissenting bondholders in a move likely to trigger a credit event."