Greek finance minister on EU/IMF bailout

By @ibtimes on

Here are highlights of Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos's news conference in Athens on Tuesday after returning from Brussels talks where euro zone finance ministers clinched a 130-billion-euro bailout package.

I wonder what would have happened today in Greece, in the euro zone, in Europe, and to the world economy if early this morning after 15 hours of talks and negotiations the Eurogroup didn't approve the new programme for Greece...

This morning we had a positive outcome which wasn't easy or obvious ... This was a significant development that gives our country a new opportunity, and we need to make the most of this opportunity.

A nightmare scenario was avoided.

It is maybe the most important (deal) in Greece's post-war history.

What we have is the clear, explicit commitment of our peers that they will support us even after the end of the programme, until Greece returns to the markets.

The Brussels agreement this morning is the result of great, painful and complicated negotiations, negotiations that I do not want to compare to other historical negotiations, but that are perhaps the most important of the post-war era, given the economic volume and impact on politics and society.

This is long-term support for the clear political decision that Greece is and will remain a member of the euro zone, whatever happens.

We also have monitoring and support mechanisms for this programme which absolutely respect the country's independence and equal position.

The final PSI (debt swap) is more drastic, and as a result better than the one that was agreed on before the beginning of the last round of negotiations.

In the end we have the brave, voluntary participation of the private sector, who agreed to cut the value of the debt owned by them by 53.5 percent instead of 50 percent. This, combined with ... other elements of our programme, allows us to have a better result on our debt in 2020, it allows us to have a sustainable debt and ... annual debt management which is significantly lighter compared to today's debt.

(Reporting by Athens bureau)

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