Greek PM hails EU-IMF deal to ease debt
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greece Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. EPA photoPrime Minister Antonis Samaras said an EU-IMF agreement struck early Tuesday to ease Greece's debt burden represented a "new day" for his beleaguered country.
"Everything has gone well," Samaras told local media in Athens after the announcement of the deal in Brussels, which will unblock billions of euros in much-needed bailout money.
"All Greeks have fought (for this decision) and tomorrow is a new day for every Greek person," the premier said. Eurozone finance ministers adopted a new deal with the International Monetary Fund to slice more than 40 billion euros ($52 billion) off Greece's massive debt burden by 2020 -- in turn freeing up long-blocked loans.
The ministers also agreed to release, in December, 43.7 billion euros ($57 billion) after months in which Greece was starved of bailout financing.
Greece, struggling to stay afloat despite a series of unpopular austerity measures, has been waiting impatiently for an injection of international loans for several weeks to avoid defaulting on its upcoming debt repayments.
Samaras said he had communicated the good news from Brussels to other party leaders within his coalition government.