Eurozone countries formally approve Greek bailout

Columns of the Parthenon temple are seen behind a European Union flag in Athens, Greece, Nov. 4, 2011.
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(AP) LUXEMBOURG - A top European official says the countries that use the euro have formally approved a second bailout for Greece, as they had signaled since last week, and authorized the release of 39.4 billion euro ($51.44 billion).

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and chairman of meetings of eurozone finance ministers, says the European Financial Stability Facility or EFSF will disburse the money in several installments.

Wednesday's decision was a formality, as Greece had already been found to have met all the conditions for the new aid program.

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Juncker said the bailout "constitutes a unique opportunity for Greece that should not be missed," and urged continued reform. "This will allow the Greek economy to return to a sustainable path," he said.