Economy

Greece pushed to take bailout deal without debt relief

Greece pushed to take bailout deal without debt relief”

Dijsselbloem said the creditors were "preparing Greece for the end of the program", when Greece would have to stand on its own feet for the first time since 2010 and borrow money from worldwide bond markets.

AIP is a procedure where there has been agreement on the policies that would underlie an IMF-supported program, but where full agreement between the member and its creditors has not yet been reached on new financing or debt relief.

Among the measures offered to Greece was a possible 15-year extension in debt and interest payments due European creditors.

Eurozone ministers struck a long-delayed bailout deal with Greece on Thursday to unlock badly needed rescue cash, but warned Athens would have to wait for debt relief.

Greece is on track to receive vital bailout funds, after its global creditors narrowed their differences in a long-running dispute about the country's vast debt mountain.

Ahead of today's meeting, Ms Lagarde has again signalled that the International Monetary Fund won't provide any money to Greece until the eurozone is clear over debt relief that will be offered to Athens.

Greece says it has done its part after legislating further pension cuts and tax hikes demanded by lenders to convince the International Monetary Fund to participate.

Greece needs the money to meet roughly 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in debt repayments in July that it will struggle to meet from its own resources. In addition, Greece's growth levels could be taken into account in its repayments, he added.

The upbeat feeling was shared by Greece's biggest eurozone partners, with Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem saying a compromise good for all sides was on the table.

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"We cautiously believe that the goal of the programme will be reached and that Greece will again have access to the finance markets at the end of the programme", Schaeuble said.

On Thursday, more than 2,000 older Greeks marched through Athens to demonstrate against cuts to monthly pensions.

Hopes of a breakthrough rose when the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin said she was confident Greece would "be rewarded for its efforts".

"We can't live on 300 euros" they chanted, with some waving sticks.

After three bailouts, Greece's debt now stands at a staggering 180 per cent of annual output, by far the biggest national debt pile in Europe.

Eurozone ministers were expected to stop short of naming a figure for measures to ease Greece's debt burden, which totals €314bn, or 180% of economic output.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has repeatedly said that debt relief is necessary to get the Greek economy back on track and has indicated that he would be prepared to request a summit of eurozone leaders if no debt relief deal is secured Thursday.

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