Traders work at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange
Traders work at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 2, 2012. REUTERS

Most of the European markets rose Thursday as investors remained hopeful that Greece would soon receive a bailout package required to overcome its economic and financial instability.

The French CAC 40 index was up 0.22 percent or 7.58 points to 3434.07. Shares of Solvay SA rose 3.18 percent and those of Sanofi advanced 0.92 percent.

London’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.11 percent or 6.39 points to 5811.17. Shares of Unilever Plc advanced 2.74 percent and those of AstraZeneca Plc were up 1.06 percent.

The German DAX 30 index was up 0.12 percent or 8.90 points to 7201.75. Shares of BASF SE rose 1.74 percent and shares of HeidelbergCement AG gained 0.51 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was down 0.25 percent or 22.10 points to 7769.40. Shares of Iberdrola SA rose 0.76 percent and those of Mapfre SA gained 0.70 percent.

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Wednesday that Greece had finalized on the labor reforms as part of the austerity measures required to receive the bailout package from the European Central Bank. These measures are expected to be brought to the Greek parliament next week for approval.

According to Stournaras, the Troika, consisting of the European Commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund, has reached an agreement with Greece over an extension by two years of the deadline before which Greece needs to bring its public deficit under 3 percent by 2016.

“All the scenarios being worked on with the troika are being worked on with the assumption that there will be an extension,” Stournaras said on Vouli TV.

Meanwhile, according to the data released by the European Union’s statistics office Wednesday, the debt burden faced by the euro zone continued to rise. In the second quarter of 2012, the total debt in the euro zone member countries rose to 90 percent of the gross domestic product, up from 88.2 percent in the first quarter. Greece was having the largest debt of 150.3 percent of the country’s GDP followed by Italy with 126.1 percent of the GDP.