Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

Under Friday's decision, Greece will receive a final 15 billion-euro ($17 billion) bailout loan installment, 9.5 billion of which will shore up an existing cash kitty to keep the country afloat post-bailout.

"The accepted criteria for all sides is that this solution be convincing for markets and embed the creditworthiness of our country - the final act in restoring the credibility of Greece to be able to plan for the next day like any ordinary country", Tzanakopoulos told a news briefing.

"I think it is the end of the Greek crisis", Tsakalotos said in Luxembourg early Friday.

Including previous loans and financing Greece is drawing on, eurozone officials said the country will have a buffer of 24.1 billion euros that cover its financial needs for about 22 months after the end of the program.

"Now we should all, we and our partners, acknowledge that what was achieved was thanks to the sacrifices of Greek people", Pavlopoulos said on his part.

"The problem of the Greek debt is behind us now", France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters.

However, the key part of the agreement are the relief measures that should allow the Greek debt, which is close to 180 per cent of GDP, to be sustainable and the markets to regain confidence in Athens' ability to honour their commitments.


"Congratulations, comrades. (Eurozone creditors) extend the Greek state's bankruptcy into 2060 and they call it debt...relief", he tweeted. For the last four years, the money has stayed in Germany.

"This is a very tight programme".

"We'll have to see if the pledges will be kept, especially as they depend on worldwide developments as well", he said.

"It would be a bad mistake to cultivate illusions that the end of the bailout means a return to normality", said pro-opposition daily Ta Nea. The country has required three worldwide bailouts.

Athens has received 273.7 billion euros in assistance since 2010, enabling it to avoid punishing borrowing rates on debt markets.

"We welcome the Eurogroup's readiness to consider further debt measures in the long term in case adverse economic developments were to materialize", European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said.

The reform-pushing International Monetary Fund played an active role in the two first Greek bailouts but took only an observer role in the third in the belief that Greece's debt mountain was unsustainable in the long term.

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