Struggling Greece was handed a financial lifeline by fellow eurozone governments yesterday.
They pledged to make €30bn (£26bn) in loans available this year alone — if Athens asks for the money.
The International Monetary Fund stands ready to chip in another €10bn (£8.7bn), said Olli Rehn, the EU monetary affairs chief in Brussels.
The promise — filling in details of a March 25 pledge of joint eurozone-IMF help — was another attempt to calm markets that have been selling Greek bonds in recent days.
Markets viewed the March pledge as too vague and carrying such tough restrictions that Greece could not easily get the money. As a result, investors demanded high rates to loan to the government as it struggles to avoid default — rates the government says it can't go on paying.
Greece has some €54bn (£47bn) in debt coming due this year and a huge budget deficit.
The finance ministers of the 16-eurozone nations have agreed on a complex three-year financing formula that generates an interest rate of “around 5%.”