Greek Bankruptcy Averted _ For Now
But Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, warned that Greece still has to stick to its side of the bargain for the bailout loans and debt relief to work.
"We can do what we want, from the IMF to the eurogroup, if Greece itself doesn't implement the necessary, difficult reforms and adjustment measures step by step, then it's a mission impossible," he told reporters in Berlin.
The meeting in Brussels was the third time in the three weeks that eurozone finance ministers had tried to hammer out a deal on the next installment of bailout money for Greece.
The main aim of the bailout program is to right Greece's economy and get it to a point where it can independently raise money on the debt markets once the bailout loans start to run out at the end of 2014. It has been clear for months that the country is far from achieving that goal. Greece's debt levels are expected to hit 190 percent of its annual economic output next yearâ¿¿ some â¿¬346 billion. The talks have centered on trying to get Greece back on the path to sustainability by reducing the country's debt load.Current forecasts have Greece's debt level at 144 percent of its output by 2020. The IMF had originally said it would only agree to the bailout program if the country's debt was at 120 percent by then. A compromise between the IMF and the eurozone ministers was reached early Tuesday where Greece will now have to reach a 124 percent debt load by 2020 and below 110 percent by 2022. The difference between the current forecast and the new 2020 target would involve a cut in Greece's debt load of some â¿¬40 billion. To reach this, the leaders agreed on a raft of measures. These include: â¿¿A cut of 1 percentage point on the interest rate charged to Greece by other eurozone member states, excluding those that are also receiving bailouts.
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