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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Feb 21, 2012 - 8:36 AM


Eurozone finance ministers agree second bailout for Greece; Troika sustainability report says outlook is grim
By Finfacts Team
Feb 21, 2012 - 8:28 AM

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Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund appearing to display scepticism as she listens to Lucas Papademos, Greek prime minister, at the Eurogroup meeting, Brussels, Feb 20, 2012.

Eurozone finance ministers agreed a second bailout for debt-stricken Greece in the early hours of Tuesday that will save the country from bankruptcy but according to a troika sustainability report, the outlook is grim.

The ministersagreed the details of a €130bn financial package which will cut Greece's debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio to 120.5%  by 2020, in line with previous targets. This will be achieved by private creditors incurring a deeper cut on their existing Greek bonds, of 53.5% of their face value compared with a level of 50%  that was agreed last year.

The European Central Bank will also contribute to the deal by transferring the profits from its Greek bondholdings onto the national central banks, who will then pass it onto Greece.

Greece will now start negotiations with its private creditors over the terms of the package.

Lucas Papademos, Greek prime minister, called it a 'historic' moment and Christine Lagarde said it would give Greece the opportunity to return to growth.

The 10-page Greek debt sustainability report that we obtained Monday night by the Financial Times paints a stark picture of Greece's problems. For example:

The 2011 outturn was worse than expected, both in terms of growth and the fiscal deficit; the macroeconomic outlook has deteriorated significantly, due to events in Europe; the fiscal outlook has deteriorated due to the economy and due to delays in developing fiscal-structural reforms

The FT says the troika report explains why European countries were so opposed to the new financing programme for Greece. In an article headlined "Greek debt nightmare laid bare", it said:

A German-led group of creditor countries – including the Netherlands and Finland – has expressed extreme reluctance to go through with the deal since they received the report.

Troika report

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Greek Bailout Deal: Good News for Investors: Olivier D'Assier, managing director for Europe and Asia at Axioma, discusses why the Greek bailout deal is a boon to investors and stock picking strategies:

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