Health Care

Tsipras Hopes Eurogroup's Decision on Bailout Payment to Help Greece Heal

Tsipras Hopes Eurogroup's Decision on Bailout Payment to Help Greece Heal

Greece's short-dated government bond yields fell to their lowest since 2014 on Friday after eurozone governments threw Athens a credit lifeline worth 8.5 billion euros and sketched out new details on possible debt relief. The release of the money comes just in time for the country to pay its next debt repayment of 7 billion euros, which is due next month.

"If there's more growth then the repayment of loans will be faster and vice versa", Dijsselbloem said, adding that Greece's debt will be discussed in the future, as long as Greece maintains a primary surplus of 3.5 percent in the next five years.

A French proposal to help bridge differences on debt relief is expected to underpin further euro zone discussions and the International Monetary Fund said it would join the existing bailout, offering Athens a standby arrangement of less than $2 billion.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that eurozone ministers were "ready to consider" a new extension of maturities, the delay before which loans have to be repaid, as well as more technical measures on interest rates. "We are now going into the last year of the financial support program for Greece; we will prepare an exit strategy going forward to enable Greece to stand on its own feet again over the course of next year".

The left-led Greek government, which has lost a lot of support since signing up for the nation's third bailout even after campaigning against austerity, hopes the deal would help it get to a position to tap the worldwide bond markets that lost faith in 2010 and forced Greece to rely on rescue money. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, left, shakes hands with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg on Thursday, . But they stopped short of providing definitive steps, which they said would only come at the end of the current bailout in mid-2018.

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The office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a statement that the decision sends markets a positive message.

Greece and its creditors managed, on Thursday (15 June), to keep the country's bailout on track while postponing decisions on debt relief.

After three bailouts, Greece's debt now stands at a staggering 180 per cent of annual output, by far the biggest national debt pile in Europe.

"If the European Central Bank started buying GGBs (Greek government bonds), this would fuel another tightening leg in the bond market", Commerzbank rates strategist Christoph Rieger said. "And we also recognize that all sides have tried to give and compromise to some extent". That's largely because the Greek economy has contracted around 25 percent, meaning a worsening in the debt load even as the government's budget improved markedly. More comprehensive details should emerge in the coming months.

"Today Greece is turning over a new leaf".

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"I've always said that the (bailout) program walks on two legs: the leg of policies and the leg of debt sustainability", Lagarde told CNBC on Thursday.

"I think that's really the best agreement we've had for quite a while", said Pierre Moscovici, the top economy official for the European Union, the broader 28-country bloc that includes the 19 states using the euro.

For austerity-weary Greeks, battered by years of income cuts and tax hikes, the latest deal is unlikely to mean much change any time soon.

The Greek government, whose popularity has fallen sharply as it imposed more austerity measures, faced more criticism Thursday when more than 2,000 older protesters marched through Athens to demonstrate against pension cuts.

"We can't live on 300 euros ($334)!" they chanted, with some waving sticks.

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United Kingdom police may consider manslaughter charges after finding tower cladding failed safety tests in blaze that killed 79. She said that there were 79 people presumed or officially confirmed dead in the disaster, but feared there were more victims.


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