News / Economy

Debt Deal Marks 'New Day' for Greece

A woman stands opposite the Parliament in central Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.
A woman stands opposite the Parliament in central Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
The eurozone has agreed on a deal that will reduce Greek debt and help the nation avoid bankruptcy. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says the deal marks a “new day” for the debt-laden country.

Following protracted negotiations, Eurozone finance ministers finally reached the agreement early Tuesday in the Belgian capital, Brussels. In the end, the ministers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to lend Greece about $57 billion, part of its second bailout in two years.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, said making the deal was difficult, but the outcome was right.

“Let me first say that this is not just about money," Juncker said. "This is the promise of a better future for the Greek people and for the euro area as a whole, a break from the era of missed targets and loose implementation towards a new paradigm of steadfast reform momentum, declining debt ratios and a return to growth.”

In addition to the rescue package, the eurozone ministers said Tuesday they will also take further steps to lower Greece’s debt to below 120 percent by 2022, a possible hint that in the future, some Greek loans may be written off.

On a continent faced with economic problems, Greece is proportionately the eurozone’s most indebted country. Eurozone leaders have long been negotiating ways to keep Greek debt at bay and avoid a possible collapse of the 17-nation monetary union.  

Analsysts say the new deal suggests eurozone leaders are determined to keep Greece within the eurozone.

But not all of Greece welcomed the news. International bailouts for Greece, and for other European countries, are tied to strictly monitored budgets.

Greece has been forced to make major spending cuts and tax hikes, which many say have only weakened the country's economy, which has shrunk by almost 25 percent in the past five years.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main leftist opposition party Syriza, accused German leader Angela Merkel and IMF head Christine Lagarde of reaching a deal with little regard for what is right for Greece.

"The solution does not include Greece, or a viable plan for Greece," Tsipras says, "and that is why it is not a solution."

On the streets of Athens, the response is mixed.

Greek businessman Stephanos Tenmenis believes the decision is significant but that it doesn't help remedy immediate problems of recession because it does not help bring growth to the Greek economy.

Greek resident Kostas likewise feels little relief saying whatever happens, "Greece is done for anyway."

Greece is to receive the bailout funds in four installments, once it has met all the conditions. The first installment is due next month.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.