Greece’s Finance Minister, Yiannis Stournaras, says a decision brokered between the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund to adopt a series of steps to reduce Greek public debt will keep the country in the euro.
“Today’s decision by the Eurogroup and IMF is important because it keeps Greece in the euro, it gives it a significant chance of getting out of the cycle of recession and over-indebtedness and contributes to the reduction of its debt,” he said after some 12 hours of talks resulted in an agreement early Tuesday.
The deal also sees Greece receiving next month about three quarters of the 44 billion euros in bailout payments it was due to get this year. The rest will come in instalments at the beginning of next year.
Stournaras said the further lowering of interest rates at which Greece is being lent money by its eurozone partners is a major boost.
“Greece is now a country that is borrowing at a very low rate compared to other countries in the euro area,” he said.
The finance minister added that this was an opportunity for the country to use to positive effect. He stressed the importance of implementing structural reforms.
Stournaras was tight lipped on the bond buyback program that Greece will have to execute by December 12 as part of its debt reduction scheme.
He thanked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, saying that his decisiveness had been instrumental in getting all the necessary legislation passed in time for the Eurogroup meetings over the last two weeks.