EU clears Greek Hercules plan to cut 30 bln euros of bad loans

Plans to cut bad loans at Greek banks by up to 30 billion euros ($33 billion) gained approval on Thursday from the European Union, which said they did not violate state aid rules.
Bankers told Reuters last month that they expected a green light from the European Commision for the scheme, that will help Greek banks offload the non-performing loans weighing on them.
The Hercules Asset Protection Scheme aims to bring down the amount of bad loans, without distorting the market through government subsidies.
The European Commission said in a statement it had found "Greek plans aimed at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks to be free of any state aid."
Banks in Greece have been working to reduce a pile of about 75 billion euros in bad loans, the legacy of a financial crisis that shrank the country's economy by a quarter. Shedding the bad debt...

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