(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Eurozone finance ministers Tuesday approved 43.7 billion euros (56.8 billion dollars) in progressive bailout payments for Greece after reaching common ground on measures to alleviate its debt woes.
Many of the measures come with strings attached. The first step in the ministers' bid to avoid a restructuring of Greek debt held by governments, a move consistently ruled out by paymaster Germany, would be a buy-back of that debt, according to the (DPA) news agency.
Officials immediately warned the buy-back would take time to set up and carry out, but if what the ministers deemed "a positive outcome" were achieved, they said they would consider other measures, including interest-rate reprieves, a 15-year extension on the maturities of Greek loans, a 10-year deferral of Greek interest payments on its Eurozone loans and a redistribution of interest earnings to Greece.
"This is not just about money," the president of the 17-minister Eurogroup panel Jean-Claude Juncker said after more than 12 hours of talks.
"This is the promise of a better future for the Greek people and for the euro area as a whole," he added.