International News: new debt deal, budget surplus in UK, Iran nuclear program


Greeks seek new debt deal with Eurozone bailout

As Greece pledged to honor all of its debts, Eurozone nations reached an agreement to extend financial aid to the country by four months. However, Greece must issue a set of reforms that Eurozone officials will review. There is still a possibility that this extension will not be granted if the reforms are not deemed sufficient. If faced with an end in bailout funds, Greece will immediately run out of money. The country owes debts due to a long recession in which the European Union gave it bailout funds. The Greek economy continues to struggle with a 25 percent unemployment rate.

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United Kingdom achieves budget surplus in January

Government finances indicated a ₤8.8 billion ($13.5 billion) surplus in the month of January in the United Kingdom. This is the highest surplus attained in the country in seven years. The surplus accompanied a falling unemployment rate and surging economic plans. The UK has ₤1.4 trillion in debt, but many see the surplus as a step forward to getting the debt under control. Chancellor George Osborne originally promised to have the debt balanced by this past fiscal year. Nevertheless, government borrowing has decreased and the economy growth left constituents feeling hopeful.

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Concern in the Middle East about Iran nuclear program

Arab nations expressed fear to U.S. diplomats regarding negotiations with Iran about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. There is concern that simply curbing the nuclear program is not enough of a response because this would allow Iran to keep the technologies of producing such weapons. The U.S. insisted that it is impossible to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program and is looking at agreements instead. Nations in the Sunni states fear the Shiite Iranian government as relations between the two sects of Islam are unstable. Arab officials said a deal with the U.S. would likely result in an arms race between Iran and other countries in the region. This could lead to further conflict in the already war-saturated area.

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