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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-02-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Eurogroup statement on deal for Greece
  • [02] Eurogroup finalises 130-bln-euro bailout package for Greece
  • [03] PM: Agreement of historic importance

  • [01] Eurogroup statement on deal for Greece

    AMNA--The Eurogroup early Tuesday welcomed an agreement reached with the Greek government on a policy package "that constitutes the basis for the successor programme", and also a package of additional austerity measures passed recently by the Greek parliament.

    The Eurogroup acknowledged the "significant efforts already made by the Greek citizens", but also underlined that "further major efforts by the Greek society are needed to return the economy to a sustainable growth path".amna

    Noting that ensuring debt sustainability and restoring competitiveness are the main goals of the new programme, the Eurogroup stresses that the success of the programme "hinges critically on its thorough implementation by Greece", meaning that "Greece must achieve the ambitious but realistic fiscal consolidation targets so as to return to a primary surplus as from 2013, carry out fully the privatisation plans and implement the bold structural reform agenda, in both the labour market and product and services markets, in order to promote competitiveness, employment and sustainable growth".amna

    To this end, the Eurogroup said it deems essential a "further strengthening of Greece's institutional capacity", and therefore "invites" the European Commission "to significantly strengthen its Task Force for Greece" through an "enhanced and permanent presence on the ground in Greece in order to bolster" the Task Force's "capacity to provide and coordinate technical assistance", and pledged the eurozone member states' readiness to "provide experts to be integrated into the Task Force".

    [02] Eurogroup finalises 130-bln-euro bailout package for Greece

    AMNA / The Eurogroup, comprising the finance ministers of the 17-country euro zone, offered its highly anticipated approval of a 130-billion-euro second bailout loan to Greece in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, after marathon talks lasting nearly 13 hours. Highlights include a reduction of the Greek debt to a sustainable 120.5 percent of GDP by 2020, paving the way for the launching of a bond-swap with private investors (PSI) that will reduce the Greek debt by some 100 billion euros, as private bondholders agreed to a 53.5-percent write-off of the nominal value of the Greek bonds they hold.

    The Greek debt goal of 120.5 percent of GDP by 2020 is just marginally above the targeted 120 percent, while the haircut of 53.5 percent was slightly larger than the 50-percent target set at the EU summit in December 2011.

    The agreement was welcomed as being of historic importance for the Greek economy by the country's prime minister, Lucas Papademos, in a statement in Brussels after the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting, which he also attended. amna

    In a joint press conference with Greek FinMin Evangelos Venizelos, Papademos said the Eurogroup decisions give Greece the ability to act in conditions of stability and limitation of the uncertainties that were inhibiting economic activity, so as to boost confidence in the prospects of the Greek economy.

    International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde welcomed the agreement, adding that "as soon as the prior actions agreed with the Greek authorities are implemented and adequate financial contribution from the private sector is secured, I intend to make a recommendation to our Executive Board regarding IMF financing to support a programme".amna

    She added that: "The success of this strategy crucially depends on full and timely policy implementation by Greece and long-term support by euro area member states. Recognizing the sacrifice involved for the Greek people, the strategy will also aim to minimize the impact on the poorest and most vulnerable."

    The eurozone finance ministers also welcomed "the agreement reached with the Greek government on a policy package that constitutes the basis for the successor programme", as well as t"he approval of the policy package by the Greek parliament, the identification of additional structural expenditure reductions of 325 million euros to close the fiscal gap in 2012 and the provision of assurances by the leaders of the two coalition parties regarding the implementation of the programme beyond the forthcoming general elections". www.amna.gr

    The Eurogroup said that the new programme provides a "comprehensive blueprint for putting the public finances and the economy of Greece back on a sustainable footing and hence for safeguarding financial stability in Greece and in the euro area as a whole".amna

    The Eurogroup acknowledged the "significant efforts already made by the Greek citizens" but also "underlines that further major efforts by the Greek society are needed to return the economy to a sustainable growth path"

    [03] PM: Agreement of historic importance

    AMNA--Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos on Tuesday welcomed the agreement for a 130 billion euros second bailout package for Greece and a 53.5 percent haircut of the Greek debt reached in the early morning hours at a marathon meeting of the Eurogroup in Brussels as being of "historic importance" for the Greek economy.

    Tuesday is a "day of historic importance for the Greek economy", Papademos said after the 13-hour marathon deliberation among the finance ministers of the 17-country eurozone, which was also attended by the Greek prime minister.amna

    In a joint press conference with Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, Papademos said the Eurogroup decisions give Greece the ability to act in conditions of stability and limitation of the uncertainties that were inhibiting economic activity, so as to boost confidence in the prospects of the Greek economy.

    He said that the Eurogroup decisions are "a major step in the direction of ensuring the financing of the Greek economy with 130 billion euros over the next three years" and reduction of the Greek debt by some 100 billion euros.amna

    The premier stressed, however, that much more needs to be done for completion of the requisite actions for the conclusion of the loan agreement, which is anticipated in early March, and for materialisation of all the reforms contained in the new economic programme for Greece.


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