Greek PM says country turning a page with debt deal

25 June, 2018, 09:26 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • After €300 billion in aid, Greece will exit its bailout on shaky ground

A deal to ease Greek debt has always been seen as a key ingredient in the country's successful return to economic health and foray back into financial markets.

The EU is stressing that Greece's debt problem, which triggered a credit crisis in the region, is over.

"It is a deal which reflects the moral duty of our partners in response to the sacrifices of Greek people over the past eight years, so that the euro zone remains undivided", Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a meeting here with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to formally brief him on the outcome of Thursday's talks in Luxembourg.

In addition, the Euro group gave the green light to release to Athens a 15 billion euros (17.4 billion US dollars) final loan installment of the 86 billion euro package sealed three years ago, which will be used to cover some of its debts to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Finance Ministers Euclid Tsakalotos told reporters the deal made Greek debt viable again and paved the way for a return to market financing.

Eurozone states have agreed on a plan that they say will allow Greece to exit its eight-year bailout program and make its massive debts more manageable.

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Greece will also receive an additional €15 billion on repayment of some more-expensive International Monetary Fund loans, as well as to create a cash buffer so that it could meet financing needs in the next two years.

Athens faces bond repayments of around 7 percent of its output next year, the first after its third bailout ends in August. The profits came from a range of deals - including the Securities Market Program (SMP), a now-defunct bond-buying program initiated by the European Central Bank in 2010 that Germany and other members of the eurozone backed to keep Greece's economy afloat, according to German Press Agency (DPA).

"We believe that the adoption of the set of debt measures agreed by the Eurogroup will improve debt sustainability in the medium term".

An activist who urged Greeks not to pay their taxes, claiming he had access to enough money to pay off the country's enormous debt, has been remanded in custody pending trial on criminal fraud charges.

But IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the Fund maintained some reservations about it in the very long term, when assessed until 2060 and therefore welcomed the readiness of the euro zone to do more if an adverse economic scenario were to materialise over the coming decades.

The eurozone ministers' agreement comes almost a decade after Athens finances spun out of control, sparking three bailouts and threatening the country's euro membership.

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