NEWS

Eurogroup deal for Greece clinched after marathon session

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Diplomacy, Economy, EU

After several hours of negotiations, Greek officials and representatives of the country's international creditors reached an agreement on securing the sustainability of the country's debt in the early hours of Friday.

Greece is to receive a loan tranche of 15 billion euros (3.3 billion euros of which would be used to pay off part of the country's debt to the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), European officials said. 

Greece will also get a 10-year extension for the repayment of its European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) loans and an additional grace period of 10 years on interest payments.

The extension of the repayment period of the EFSF loans and the size of the final bailout tranche had been a sticking points in the talks. These two issues were the focus of several trilateral meetings between Greek Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and his French and German counterparts, Bruno Le Maire and Olaf Scholz. 

At a press conference announcing the details of the deal, European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici spoke of a “historical moment for Greece" and said a new chapter was beginning for the country. He expressed "great satisfaction" in seeing Greece emerge from eight years of financial support. 

"Tonight’s Eurogroup agreement achieves what we have been calling for, a credible, upfront set of measures, which will meaningfully lighten Greece’s debt burden, allow the country to stand on its own two feet, and reassure all partners and investors," he said. 

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno struck a similar note. "This is it," he said. "After eight long years, the Greek bailout has been completed." 

In a post on Twitter, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal "paves way for the successful conclusion of the program and a new chapter for the country."

"I will always fight for Greece to be at the heart of Europe. I pay tribute to the Greek people for their resilience and European commitment. Their efforts were not in vain," Juncker wrote. 

Tsakalotos, for his part, said the government was satisfied with the Eurogroup agreement, noting that it will allow Greece to access the markets.

He added, however, that Greek people have been through a lot in recent years and must see a difference soon, in their pockets, through growth. 

 


 

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