Tuesday March 3, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece qualifies for new debt relief after 2013 budget surplus

Greece is set to obtain more debt relief from its international lenders after European officials confirmed on Wednesday that Athens had topped its fiscal targets and achieved a budget surplus in 2013.

Wednesday's announcement come on the fourth anniversary of Greece's official request for a bailout after it lost access to global bond markets. Earlier this month, Greece returned to the markets with the sale of five-year bonds.

The budget surplus is a sign of the progress Greece has made to fix its finances after four years of tough bailout-imposed austerity that wiped out almost a quarter of its GDP and sent unemployment to record highs of almost 28 percent.

"The country and its economy are in a much better position now, after very tough years for households and businesses, said Greece's deputy finance minister, Christos Staikouras.

The 2013 surplus, which came one year ahead of bailout schedule, paves the way for some form of additional debt relief from eurozone governments that are now holding more than 80 percent of Greece's 319 billion euro public debt.

Athens hit a primary surplus, excluding debt servicing costs, of 1.5 billion euros or 0.8 percent of GDP last year, its first since 2002, the European Commission and the Greek government said.

The reading also excludes other one-off spending and revenue items, such as aid to recapitalize Greek banks or profit returns to Athens by European central banks, made on their Greek government bond holdings.

Talks about further debt relief for Greece will start in the second half of the year, said European Commission spokesman Simon O'Connor.

The debt relief is most likely to include stretching out the maturities of its rescue loans to about 50 years and also cutting interest charges on some of them.

The EU and the IMF have so far extended 218 billion euros of bailout loans to Greece over the past four years and Athens stands to get 19 billion euros more by the end of the year.

On top of this aid, the European Central Bank has bought about 40 billion euros of Greek bonds and Athens obtained debt relief worth 170 billion euros in 2012, most of it by imposing big losses on private bondholders.

Under the terms of a November 2012 deal, the EU has promised to provide further debt relief to Greece, on the condition that it meets targets for its primary budget surplus and reforms.

The debt relief for Athens is to ensure that after the International Monetary Fund lending program to Greece ends in 2016, the country can reach a debt-to-GDP ratio of 124 percent in 2020 and substantially below 110 percent in 2022.

The debt stood at 175 percent of GDP at the end of 2013.

On its return to bond markets on April 10 after its four-year absence, Greece sold 3 billion euros of five-year bonds to yield-hungry international investors. Athens is paying a yield of 4.95 percent on the debt.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday April 23, 2014 (15:41)  
Greece poised for recession as uncertainty takes its toll
Ministry denies Varoufakis spoke to creditors to discuss Eurogroup
Greeces week before March 9 meeting of euro finance ministers
Greeces bailout extension no panacea for struggling bond market
Prosecutors suggest conditional release for GDs Michaloliakos, Pappas
Two public prosecutors on Tuesday suggested the conditional release of Golden Dawn chief Nikos Michaloliakos and the partys second-in-command, Christos Pappas, after their 18-month maxim de...
Suspected pedophile arrested in Athens
A 40-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday in Athens after allegedly luring a minor into a mini van in view of sexually abusing him. According to initial reports, the suspect owns a super mar...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Waters turns from zero to hero for Kolossos Rhodes
For 40 minutes he was a real disappointment for his coach, Aris Lykoyiannis. His shooting rate was a miserable 1 in 10 two-point shots and he had made no three-pointers. On top of that he co...
SOCCER
Super League clubs promise to combat violence, again
The Super League clubs agreed on Monday to a blueprint of proposals for combatting violence in soccer grounds and will present it to Deputy Minister Stavros Kontonis to ask for the top fligh...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Greece and the four month window of opportunity
As the dust begins to settle after the Eurogroup agreement extending the loan facility to Greece by four months, it is a good moment to have a look at where we should go from here. Much has ...
COMMENTARY
The Greek tax drama
Numbers alone can never interpret reality, not even a strictly financial one. Besides, the art of creative accounting has a number of fans in this country, many more, for the time being, tha...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greece poised for recession as uncertainty takes its toll
2. Ministry denies Varoufakis spoke to creditors to discuss Eurogroup
3. Prosecutors suggest conditional release for GDs Michaloliakos, Pappas
4. Suspected pedophile arrested in Athens
5. Greeces week before March 9 meeting of euro finance ministers
6. Crime boss Vlastos gives lengthy testimony in extortion racket case
more news
Today
This Week
1. The Greek tax drama
2. Draghis QE moves to starting line as economic outlook brightens
3. Varoufakis to make six reform proposals at Monday's Eurogroup
4. Convicted Conspiracy of the Cells Fire member to face magistrate
5. Investor survey shows 38 pct chance of eurozone break-up in 12 months
6. Greece approved as recipient of EBRD funding through 2020
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
Advertiser Link
AMF PROJECT FINAL CONFERENCE-REGIONAL UNIT OF THESPROTIA
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.