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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-03-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't satisfied over decision for extension, rate cut 

  • [01] Gov't satisfied over decision for extension, rate cut

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- The Greek government expressed satisfaction late Friday evening over a decision here by eurozone members to extend the repayment period for Greece's 110-billion-euro EC-ECB-IMF bailout to seven and a half years, as well as a reduction in the interest rate -- from 5.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

    "Today's (Friday) decisions are clear proof that the efforts being made by the Greek government are being recognised," Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed after the end of an informal EU summit and a council of eurozone members, while also noting that Athens' seriousness and reliability in implementing a wide-ranging structual reform package is paying off.

    "In this effort, we requested the support of our partners in the eurozone," he said, pointing out that the reduction in the interest rate aims to keep the cost of lending manageable for the country. Along those lines, he said the extension and the reduction, by 100 basis points, of the interest rate translates into six billion euros in savings.

    Moreover, Papandreou directly referred to the prospect of exploiting state assets and property -- in tandem with structural reforms and privatisations -- in order to reach a goal of 50 billion euros, "something that will lift the debt burden off the back of the people by 20 percent".

    The 50-billion-euro target by 2015, cited by representatives of the "troika" last month in Athens, initially generated mini political furor.

    Finally, in a bid to allays fears back home, Papandreou also said that decisions taken by eurozone members do not mean new austerity measures. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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