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Eurogroup agreement over Greek debt relief, post-bailout supervision

Friday, 22 Jun 2018 04:20 UPD: 10:15
SOOC / Alexandros Michailidis

A marathon session at the Eurogroup for the better part of Thursday concluded in the early morning hours of Friday with an agreement - called "historic" by European partners - for medium-term debt relief measures for Greece.

The highlights of the deal include a disbursement of 15 billion euros in a final third bailout tranche, a portion of which (3.3 billion) will cover previous loans by the ECB and IMF.

As part of measures to ensure debt sustainability, loans received as part of the second bailout from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will be deferred by 10 years - instead of the 15 years reportedly discussed in the closed-door session and desired by Athens but opposed by Berlin.

The agreement also hinges on this and subsequent Greek governments implementing and continuing specific reforms demanded by creditors, which were also detailed in a released text:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu//media/35749/specific-commitments-to-ensure-the-continuity-and-completion-of-reforms-adopted-under-the-esm-programme.pdf

In subsequent comments, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici referred to a “historical moment for Greece" and expressed "great satisfaction" that the country was exiting the memorandum period.

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno added: "After 8 long years Greece will finally be graduating from its financial assistance ... Greece is exiting its final financial assistance programme. The Eurogroup agreed on debt relief measures to ensure sustainability and access to bond markets."

''Taking to Twitter, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote that the "Eurogroup agreement paves way for successful conclusion of the programme 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."

On his part, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said ''those immediate measures regarding the debt are extremely important and they will help Greece face the future with optimism''.

He also said the Tsipras government will "never forget" what the Greek people have been through for the last eight years. In a bid to ameliorate low approval ratings, stemming, in part, from the effects of a "tax tsunami" unleashed by his government in 2016, he merely cited to a pledge that future growth will be for all.

 

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