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11 things about the Greece crisis to help you get caught up

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Aug 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-10 11:36:06-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — If you’re just catching up to it, here are the latest developments in the Greek economic crisis — and what you need to know.

1) Greece is getting closer to securing its third international bailout. The 86 billion ($96 billion) euros deal is expected to be finalized before the country must pay 3.2 billion euros to the ECB on August 20. Greece and its creditors are “working day and night, making progress,” European Union spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said.

2) The start of talks was delayed due to logistical and security issues. But Greece has made some key concessions, raising the chances of an agreement in the coming days.

3) The Athens stock exchange opened for business for the first time in fix weeks on August 3, and shares in Greek banks have suffered heavy losses. The banks are being kept afloat by emergency cash from Europe’s central bank but urgently need a longer term solution. Part of a new European bailout has been earmarked for the banks.

4) The country’s banks reopened on July 20 for the first time in three weeks, although caps on cash withdrawals remain. The reopening was made possible after the European Central Bank promised 900 million euros in new emergency funding.

5) While the details of a new bailout are being hammered out, Greece urgently needs cash to stay afloat. Europe handed over a bridge loan of about seven billion euros ($7.8 billion) on July 20. Most of that was spent immediately on debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund and the ECB.

6) Greece’s parliament voted through pension and tax reforms earlier this month in an effort to cut spending and bring in more revenue. To qualify for the new bailout, it will also need to make substantial changes to energy, labor and product markets, and begin selling government assets.

7) Greece’s left-wing government campaigned for months against such reforms. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said last month he still does not “believe in” the policies, but that he would implement them to secure the bailout and keep Greece in the euro.

8) Many Greeks who are opposed to the new bailout say they would prefer to exit the eurozone and return to the old drachma currency.

9) The IMF won’t take part in the new bailout unless it includes debt relief for Greece. A senior IMF official said that could take the form of longer grace periods, longer payment schedules and lower interest rates — the fund was not insisting on outright cancellation of debt.

10) Eurozone nations, along with the ECB and the IMF, have already loaned Greece roughly 233 billion euros in rescue financing since 2010.

11) Even with a new bailout, there won’t be a quick fix for Greece’s Depression-like conditions. The European Commission is now forecasting Greece’s economy could shrink by another 4% this year. Greeks are currently suffering with 25% unemployment and the highest poverty rate in the European Union.