Greek Finances Under Scrutiny

Originally published on May 30, 2011 1:28 pm
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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with Greek finances under scrutiny.

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MONTAGNE: Greece is still trying to rein in its huge deficit, and its finances are being examined this week. The debt inspectors are from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. They are all checking to see whether Greece has met the criteria for the next loan installment from a huge bailout deal. The deal was worked out last year and is worth about $155 billion. The EU is already working on a new aid plan for 2012 and 2013.

But many Greeks are angry about the austerity measures. Tens of thousands protested in Athens yesterday, the latest in a series of demonstrations.

In this country, the housing market is still struggling to recover from the meltdown a couple years ago. The problems in the housing sector have been a drag on many parts of the economy. For people who are looking to buy a home, home mortgage interest rates remain extremely low by historical standards. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.6 percent last week. That's the lowest it's been so far this year, and it comes amid signs of a slowing overall U.S. economy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.