Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Eurozone agrees €130bn Greece bailout

Single currency governments have approved another massive rescue package for Greece
Single currency governments have approved another massive rescue package for Greece
Chancellor George Osborne
Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos speaks with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde in Brussels (AP)

Eurozone governments have finally come to the rescue of Greece, approving a second massive bail-out after months of wrangling and a last round of more than 12 hours of talks in Brussels.

The Prime Minister said Europe must focus on creating a firewall capable of preventing contagion within the eurozone after a second massive rescue package for the debt-laden country was finally delivered.

European ministers cautiously welcomed the deal but it has been dismissed by some experts as undeliverable.

At a press conference in Downing Street Mr Cameron said: "Greece has made its choice and we now have to focus on the next step, which is constructing a firewall which is large enough to prevent contagion within the eurozone."

Eurozone governments approved the the rescue package for the ailing nation following more than 12 hours of talks in Brussels.

But the deal is based on long-range forecasts of Greek's best-case scenario for slashing its debts over the next eight years and forthcoming elections in the country will make it politically difficult to keep on track.

Chancellor George Osborne insisted the bailout was good for Britain and would "hopefully" allow Europe to "move on".

He said: "Of course, resolving the Greek situation is only part of resolving the eurozone crisis, but I think we took a really significant step towards that last night and that is good for Britain, because resolving the eurozone crisis would be the biggest boost that Britain could get for its economy this year."

City analysts were less enthusiastic about the long-term prospects of the bailout.

Carsten Brzeski, analyst at ING Bank, said: "It looks like a deal, it walks like a deal, it is almost a deal. Last night's eurogroup meeting has paved the way for a second Greek bailout but the crisis marathon is not over."

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