Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Osborne welcomes eurozone package

Greek prime minister George Papandreou said the agreement would help ease the burden on his country (AP)
Greek prime minister George Papandreou said the agreement would help ease the burden on his country (AP)
George Osborne welcomed the new bailout package for Greece and praised eurozone leaders on their decisive action

UK Chancellor George Osborne has welcomed the new bailout package for Greece, commending eurozone leaders on their "decisive economic action".

He stressed to taxpayers that the Government had delivered on its promise to keep the UK out of the bailout.

But he said Britain had a "huge interest" in a stable eurozone and called on political leaders to make the "longer term changes needed to make the euro work".

At an emergency summit in Brussels, eurozone leaders agreed a new bailout package for debt-laden Greece worth 109 billion euros (£95.9 billion) with a lower interest rate and more time to pay it off.

Mr Osborne said: "The first thing British taxpayers should know is that we have delivered on our promise to keep the UK out of the Greek bailout. But Britain also has a huge interest in a stable eurozone. Today's package from eurozone countries to support Greece is an important and positive development.

"Even more positive is the demonstration that eurozone political leaders can take decisive economic action. That is what they now have to sustain, not just on the details of this package, but also on the longer term changes needed to make the euro work. They have shown they can get a grip, now they need to keep it."

Greek prime minister George Papandreou said: "We now have a programme and a package of decisions which create a sustainable path for Greece, a sustainable debt management for Greece, and this in the end of course will mean not only the funding of a programme, but it will also mean the lightening of the burden on the Greek people."

Mr Papandreou said Greece was committed to implementing the programme, to make the country viable, just and one of growth and job creation.

The latest summit had been demanded by France but opposed by Germany and other countries, concerned that more inconclusive talks would only worsen the market response.

The measures are designed to be a eurozone-wide move to pull the EU back from the brink of financial crisis and prevent the contagion effect from spreading to economies such as Italy and Spain.

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