Greece Completes Difficult 3-Year Bailout Program

Greece Completes Difficult 3-Year Bailout Program

James Kirk 5 months ago

Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone emergency loan program worth €61.9 billion (£55 billion; $70.8 billion) to tackle its debt crisis.

It was part of the biggest bailout in global financial history, totalling some €289 billion, which will take the country decades to repay.

Deeply unpopular cuts to public spending, a condition of the bailout, are set to continue, report CNN and the BBC.

But for the first time in eight years, Greece can borrow at market rates.

In exchange for the money, Greece agreed to drastically cut spending and implement painful economic reforms. Government employees had their salaries slashed, their pensions frozen, and their retirement age pushed higher. Consumer spending plummeted, unemployment spiked and many businesses shut down.

The Greek economy is now three-quarters of the size it was in 2007, before the crisis started. And it still faces a range of challenges.

On paper, the government, whose runaway spending fueled the financial meltdown, has put its house in order. It went from a 15 percent budget deficit in 2009 to a 1 percent surplus in 2017.

96Greece is ready to exit. It has done most of the hard adjustment work 15 its economy is finally expanding again at a half-satisfactory pace

Image credit: BBC

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