Greece creditors agree on deal

After €300 billion in aid, Greece will exit its bailout on shaky ground

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"The decision to stay on our European course was, I strongly believe it today, a decision made by the majority of Greek people".

Greece's massive debt came to light in 2009.

With writing-off loans off the table, eurozone ministers agreed to extend maturities by 10 years on major parts of its total debt obligations, a mountain that has reached 180 percent of GDP - nearly double the country's annual economic output.

Greece is slated to leave its financial rescue on August 20 and finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the single currency were under pressure to offer Athens a goodbye deal that left it strong in the eyes of the financial markets.

"A new chapter is opening for the country, but that does not mean that we should abandon the prudent path of fiscal balance and structural reforms our country needs", Tsipras said in statements broadcast live on Greek public broadcaster ERT.

Greece has already received substantial debt relief during the crisis.

The creditors also agreed to a final disbursement of €15 billion, aimed to help Greece repay arrears, finance maturing debt and build up a cash buffer of €24.1 billion that will help it access financial markets.

"After eight long years, Greece will finally be graduating from its financial assistance", the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Mario Centeno told a news conference in the small hours of Friday after hours of negotiations of the deal.

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"It took a bit longer than we expected, but ended in a very good way", Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said.

In addition, the Euro group gave the green light to release to Athens a 15 billion euros (17.4 billion USA dollars) final loan installment of the 86 billion euro package sealed three years ago, which will be used to cover some of its debts to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

And it provides the country with enough ready cash to coast it over almost two more years, without having to resort to expensive global bond markets after bailout loans run out in August.

Unlike the first two Greek bailouts, the International Monetary Fund did not join the latest Greek programme with it its own loans, but will continue to monitor Greece's performance alongside the euro zone.

Over those years, Greece twice got perilously close to being kicked out of the eurogroup, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

As a result Greek debt stock was cut by about 107 billion euros.

The eight-year crisis toppled four governments and shrank the economy by 25 percent.

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