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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 28/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday welcomed an agreement to ease borrowing conditions on Greece and help that country reduce it massive debt burden over the next 10 years.

Hollande has been a strong supporter of more lenient measures for Greece that would avoid that country being forced out of the Euro system and even into default.

"This agreement has ended several weeks of negotiations and a vote by Greece on several difficult and courageous reforms," Hollande said in a statement.

The talks, between the Eurogroup, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Greek government concluded with an accord to lower rates or defer interest payments on Greek debt and extend the repayment period for reimbursement.

The agreement will also give the green light for further aid from Europe and the IMF to help finance the Greek government.

"It is a positive result to the steps taken by France for six months to confirm the anchoring of Greece in the Euro zone," the French leader said.
Greek debt is currently running at around 148 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a level that is unsustainable if not tackled.

Athens, under guidance from Europe and the IMF, has undertaken drastic reforms and put in place a painful austerity programme that has led to mass protests and violent riots on several occasions.

The IMF has said that it hopes the Greek debt/GDP ratio can be lowered to 124 percent by 2020 and to below 110 percent by 2022.

The Greek economy is expected to contract by over 6.0 percent this year, before recovering slightly in 2013, when it is projected to contract by 4.5 percent. In 2011, the economy shrunk by over 7.0 percent.

 






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