Eurozone officials have agreed to launch a new bailout program for Greece of up to 86 billion euros ($96 billion)
over three years, the country's third bailout in five years, the European Commission confirmed Friday. The bailout bill passed through the Greek parliament, or Vouli, on Thursday and will face a parliamentary vote next week in the Bundestag of Germany, the largest contributor of funds.
"The past six months have been difficult. They have tested the patience of policymakers, and they have tested the patience of our citizens even more. Together, we have looked into the abyss. But today, I am glad to say that all sides have respected their commitments,” Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said in a statement.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) August 14, 2015
Greece narrowly escaped an exit from the 19-member eurozone in July following months of uncertainty after the government and its international creditors struck a bailout “aGreekment” in a reform-for-aid deal for the debt-stricken country. Greece was teetering on the verge of collapse with a hobbled economy and more than 300 billion euros ($330 billion) in debt.
The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras completed its abrupt about-face by accepting even more restrictive austerity terms from the rest of the eurozone last month after a July 5 referendum rejected international creditors’ demands for austerity measures. The move came after Greece defaulted on its International Monetary Fund repayment of 1.6 billion euros ($1.77 billion) at the end of June.
The deal will clear the way for Greece to receive aid disbursements by Aug. 20, the day a 3.2 billion euro ($3.5 billion) debt payment is due to the European Central Bank.
The cash-strapped country is dealing with a debt that’s 177 percent of its gross domestic product, more than any of the 19 nations using the euro.