Euro zone finance ministers struck a deal early on Tuesday for a second bailout program for Greece that includes new financing of $170 billion and aims to cut Greece's debt to 121 percent of GDP by 2020, Reuters reported.
Finance ministers haggled into the night in Brussels over the terms of new loans for Greece, Bloomberg reported.
The marathon talks lasted 12 hours.
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said Monday, “We have all the elements for an accord,” according to AFP. The negotiations have been going on for six months, with Greece’s future hanging in the balance, between rescue and eviction from the eurozone.
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Securing the $170 billion bailout was vital for Greece. It can now go ahead with a related $130 billion debt relief deal with private investors and stave off defaulting on bond repayments due March 20.
In the event of bankruptcy, Greece would have most likely left the 17-country eurozone and reverted to its old currency, further destabilizing its economy.
Earlier on Monday, Greek finance minister, Evangelis Venizelos, said in a statement, “The Greek people send to Europe the message that they have made, and will make, the necessary sacrifices for our country to regain its position of equality within the European family,” reported the BBC.
Last week, the Greek government approved austerity measures that included a 22 percent cut in the country’s minimum wage and the elimination of 15,000 government jobs, said Voice of America. Greek workers have been protesting in the last few days against the austerity measures, with some spots of violent clashes.