Euro finance ministers to discuss Italy, Portugal

BRUSSELS (AP) — European finance ministers are set to discuss on Monday the economic plans of Italy's new government and assess the outlook for bailed-out countries like Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.

The finance chiefs of the 17 countries that use the euro were gathering in Brussels amid a relative lull in the bloc's three-year debt crisis.

Diplomats say the ministers are expected to approve the next batch of 7.5 billion euros ($10 billion) in bailout loans for Greece. They are not, however, likely to release more aid for Portugal because they are waiting for Lisbon's latest austerity measures to be cleared by parliament.

The ministers will also meet their new Italian counterpart, Fabrizio Saccomanni, who is expected to brief them on his government's economic and financial policies. Italy has the eurozone's third-largest economy.

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