The Eurogroup and the IMF have concluded an agreement that will reduce Greece’s debt to 124% of GDP by 2020. The deal, which is equivalent to a write-off of €40 billion, will be financed by a reduction in bond interest, an extension on bond maturities and a programme to buy back debt at low cost. A further €43.7bn in financial aid will also be transferred to Greece in the coming weeks.

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The first smile – Ta Nea

Having failed to secure an absolute majority in the November 25 elections, the President of the region of Catalonia and leader of the Catalan nationalist centre-right Convergencia i Unió (CiU) party, Artur Mas, is seeking to form a pact with the left-wing nationalist Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) party or the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) with a view to organising a referendum on the independence of the region. However, his initiative may be made difficult by divisions over economic policy: the ERC is opposed to austerity which is supported by the CiU.

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Mas calls on the ERC and the PSC to form a pact – La Vanguardia

A Canadian former Goldman Sachs banker, Mark Carney, has been named as the next governor of the Bank of England, following the retirement of current bank chief Sir Mervyn King. Mr Carney, the first non-British governor in the Bank’s 318-year history, was selected partly because he was “untainted by the BoE’s spotty performance” during the initial phase of the financial crisis, writes the economic daily.

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Canadian to take helm at Bank – Financial Times

Some 2,000 dairy farmers from 15 countries, who gathered in Brussels to protest against low food prices, sprayed 15,000 litres of milk onto the European parliament building where MEPs were debating changes to the common agricultural policy, which include lower milk subsidies. Security forces, who were also sprayed, responded with batons and tear gas.

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Milk versus tear gas – De Standaard

The European agency for police cooperation has brought together “an unusual coalition of private companies and NGOs” to combat the online sale of pornographic material involving children. Google, Visa, PayPal, Missing Children Europe and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States are to collaborate in the initiative, which has been rendered more difficult by new payment methods like mobile phone debit systems and prepaid bank cards.

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Europol to hunt down child porn vendors – Trouw

The Hungarian parliament has definitively adopted a new electoral law that will put an end to the automatic enrolment of Hungarians on electoral registers, and limit political parties’ access to the media for the 2014 election campaign. Support from the members of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, who were the only ones to vote in favour of it, was sufficient to have the law endorsed by parliament.

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Fidesz restricts voting rights – Népszava

After a series of one-day walkouts, education trade unions declared an “unlimited strike” in what seems to be the most serious problem that Robert Fico’s Socialist government has had to deal since its election in March. According to estimates, about 80% of elementary school teachers and employees, 70% of high school and 5% of universities are taking part, calling for a 10% pay rise while government is offering just 5%.

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Government deals with first major popular protest – Hospodárske Noviny