Eurozone finance ministers have reached a deal with the International Monetary Fund on reducing Greece’s debt and releasing immediate bailout money, in an effort to help the country avoid bankruptcy.
Greece’s international lenders Monday agreed to reduce its debt to 124 percent of gross domestic product by 2020. The original goal had been 120 percent. Greece also will receive about $57 billion in loans.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi welcomed the agreement, saying it will “certainly reduce uncertainty and strengthen confidence in Europe and in Greece.”
Monday’s 10-hour meeting in Brussels is the third time in as many weeks that the ministers from the 17-nation group have attempted to reach an agreement on a Greek rescue package. Athens says it needs the money — a portion of its second bailout in two years — to avoid defaulting on its financial obligations.
Greece’s debt is currently 180 percent of its gross domestic product — about three times the allowable limit for eurozone countries.
(Photo, of ECB President Mario Draghi: European Commission audiovisual service)