GREECE’S Syriza government hailed the unlocking of more EU bailout money yesterday after the latest austerity cuts.
European creditors agreed to release the latest tranche of €8.5 billion (£7.4 billion) on Thursday night after weeks of hard bargaining.
The deal staved off the latest looming debt default, with an instalment due next month.
The government committed to deliver annual primary budget surpluses — excluding the cost of servicing debt — equal to 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product until 2022, and 2 per cent thereafter until 2060.
“We had a decisive step yesterday,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. “A decisive step for the country’s exit from the long-running crisis.”
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the creditors had accepted “nearly all the points that the Greek side was asking for.”
He stressed the creditors’ acceptance of a long-standing Greek demand that debt repayments be linked to economic growth, meaning that repayments could be postponed in case the economy enters recession.
EU economic and finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said: “I think that’s really the best agreement we’ve had for quite a while.”
The Greek parliament agreed more cuts to pensions and tax rises last month under new EU conditions for the bailout agreed in 2015.
The International Monetary Fund said it may also provide up to £2bn (£1.56bn) in credit once it has seen the fine print of the deal and knows whether the repayment scheme is sustainable.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde hoped this would “give confidence to investors on the prospects for the Greek economy to grow and its people to prosper.”