Germany pockets 2.9 bn euros from Greece bailouts

After €300 billion in aid, Greece will exit its bailout on shaky ground

The finance ministers of the 19 nations took day-long talks into Friday morning and reached a surprisingly hard-fought compromise which had seemed within easy reach for the past few days.

The ministers were under pressure to finalize a deal that would allow Greece to safely emerge from the bailout program on August 20 and face the markets again.

"After eight long years Greece will finally be graduating from its financial assistance", said Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, who presides over the meetings with his euro-area counterparts.

Greece expects euro zone finance ministers to deliver on promised debt relief this week so that it can at last plan its financial future "like any ordinary country", the government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Including previous loans and financing Greece is drawing on, eurozone officials said the country will have a buffer of 24.1 billion euros that cover its financial needs for about 22 months after the end of the program.

Greece will also receive an additional €15 billion on repayment of some more-expensive International Monetary Fund loans, as well as to create a cash buffer so that it could meet financing needs in the next two years.




Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday said his country was "turning a page" after eurozone ministers declared its crisis over as they granted Athens debt relief under a bailout exit strategy.

However, Tzanakopoulos said there was no truth in speculation that this deal was tied in any way to Greek debt relief.

"The Greek crisis ends here tonight", said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, after marathon talks in Luxembourg.

"There is no doubt in our mind that Greece will be in a position to access financial markets", IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, adding that for the medium term, the agreed measures would ensure Greek debt remained sustainable.

One of the final issues was how to let Greece spread some of its debt repayments over more years to make sure the cost of repaying the loans does not stifle the economy. Athens will have to undergo quarterly reviews of its finances (more frequent than during the bailouts) and adhere to strict budget constraints. In exchange, Greece will get annual payments that come from the profits European central banks made on the holdings of Greek bonds, Bloomberg reported yesterday (paywall).

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