International lenders have announced that Greece can expect another installment of bailout money. The decision followed a new plan to reduce the country's debt burden by 2020.
International lenders told reporters early on Tuesday that they planned to grant the financially stricken country more bailout money next month. The news came after 12-hour talks in Brussels on top of months of delays prompted by Greece's difficulty in proving it could implement sustainable austerity measures.
This is not just about money. This is the promise of a better future for the Greek people and for the euro area as a whole," EU President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters. "I admit ... that this has been a very difficult deal."
Under the agreement, Greece is scheduled to receive 43.7 billion euros ($56.8 billion) in several instalments.
Initial reports had only related the EU's plan to require Greece to lower its debt to 124 percent of the GDP by 2020. Analysts currently expect Greece's debt to reach nearly 200 percent of GDP over the next two years.
Following negotiations that spilled over into the early hours on Tuesday morning, the international lenders announced preliminary plans to help ease Greece's debt burden further. Athens is to receive a 10-year interest repayment deferral. The financial leaders in Brussels also agreed to extend the maturity on Greece's loans 15 years.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras reacted positively to the news from Brussels.
"Everything has gone well. All Greeks have fought [for this decision] and tomorrow is a new day for every Greek person," Samaras told local media in Athens, according to the news agency AFP.
The parliaments of certain eurozone countries must now approve the measures put forth in Brussels.
kms/ccp (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)