17 MAY 2011
A European Union finance ministers meeting is being overshadowed by the euro zone's ongoing economic problems and sexual assault charges against International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had been expected to attend the two days of talks in Brussels.
The financial troubles of Greece, Portugal and other weaker euro-zone economies are expected to dominate the Brussels talks that end Tuesday. Finance ministers from the 27 European Union states are expected formally approve a $112 billion rescue plan for Portugal and discuss the possibility of more aid to Greece, which received its own bailout last year.
The chief economist for the Brussels-based European Policy Center, Fabian Zuleeg, says the 17-nation euro zone is facing a tough period.
"Portugal is needing help, there are some uncertainties around there," Zuleeg said. "There are questions about the long-term future for Greece and now, of course, we are having developments with the IMF and Strauss-Kahn in particular."
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