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The euro fell versus most of its 16 major counterparts on speculation European finance ministers meeting today and tomorrow will struggle to agree on debt- reduction targets.
The single currency dropped for a second day against the yen as Ireland’s opposition party said it would seek to renegotiate details of the country’s bailout and Greece’s government criticized demands from the European Union and International Monetary Fund for sales of state assets. The yen rose from close to a seven-week low against the dollar on speculation Japanese exporters took advantage of its recent weakness. New Zealand’s dollar fell after retail sales declined.
Enda Kenny, leader of Ireland’s largest opposition party, Fine Gael, yesterday said senior bank bondholders should share the cost of bailing out the country’s financial system. He said a new government would seek to renegotiate details of the international bailout after Feb. 25 national elections.
Greece’s government spokesman George Petalotis said demands for asset sales to raise as much as 50 billion euros by 2015 to pay down debt were “unacceptable.”
The nation last week also joined Italy in opposing annual numerical debt-reduction targets. Greece, which required financial aid last year to help counter its widening deficit, said the proposed rule would force it to make unsustainably large cuts once its support package runs out in 2013, according to a draft of EU legislation.
European finance ministers will meet to review the rules today and tomorrow in Brussels.
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