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No hike in aid for Greece

The governing council of the European Central Bank has decided not to increase the liquidity lifeline to the cash-strapped Greek banks. The bank may intervene as and when necessary but no other decision has been taken, according to a source. The decision means the bank is keeping open its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) program for Greece, but the amount of emergency funding the country’s banks can access will remain frozen at around 89 billion euros ($99.1 billion). The debt crisis deepened when Greece’s international bailout officially expired and the country failed to make a key IMF debt payment, becoming the first industrialised nation to do so and heightening fears Greece was headed for a eurozone exit. The ELA programme was originally intended as a lifeline for solvent lenders that get into a cash jam, but has become a tool to keep the entire Greek economy alive as Athens its creditors wrangle over a new debt deal.

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