European finance ministers cut Greece’s interest rates and gave it more time to pay back rescue loans while dismissing for now calls for debt relief that may be needed to keep the country afloat over the longer term.
In the fourth Greek crisis meeting in two weeks, the ministers persuaded a skeptical International Monetary Fund that Europe has a formula for putting the country that triggered the debt crisis onto a path back out of it. Greece was also cleared to receive a 34.4 billion-euro loan installment in December.
“All initiatives decided upon today will bring Greece’s public debt clearly back on a sustainable path,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters after chairing a 13-hour meeting that ended early today. “This has been a very difficult deal.”
After three years of false starts, the creditor governments led by Germany proclaimed the latest fix for Greece just as they grapple with swelling financing needs in Cyprus and a potential aid request by Spain, the fourth-largest euro economy.