Greece completes three-year eurozone bailout programme

Galtero Lara
Agosto 20, 2018

Together with assistance from International Monetary Fund, the loans given to Greece since 2010 amounted to more than €260bn - the biggest bailout in global financial history. However, Athens never repaid the loans.

He said: "You did it!" Congratulations Greece and its people on ending the programme of financial assistance. "Nevertheless we don't have to forget that due to the SYRIZA government this didn't happen much earlier and much cheaper for the Greek people", he said in a tweet.

"What matters now is to build on this achievement by sticking to sound fiscal and economic policies".

A three-year European Stability Mechanism (ESM) programme launched in 2015 saw 62 billion euros (£55bn) of financial aid given to Greece to help it re-balance its economy and banking sector.

This supported the Greek government's efforts to reform the nation's troubled economy and recapitalise its banks.

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Pierre Moscovici said: "We have had eight very hard years, often very painful years, where we have had three successive programmes. But now Greece can finally turn the page in a crisis that has lasted too long", he told journalists.

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Evoking pensioners, workers and families who had suffered their own personal crisis, he added that he was "conscious that all those people may not feel that their situation has yet improved much if at all". By 2023 unemployment is forecast to fall to 14%, far higher than the current eurozone average 0f 8.3%.

During the period, Greeks have suffered immensely with nearly a fifth of the working age population out of work and youth unemployment remains the worst in the European Union at 43.6 percent. As a condition of getting debt relief, Athens agreed to the EU's demand to run a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022 and thereafter 2%.

The body urged Greece to stay in line with its spending plans while reducing high tax rates and broadening the income tax base.

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