Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement at the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels:
I welcome the initiatives agreed today by the Eurogroup aimed at further supporting Greeces economic reform program and making a substantial contribution to the sustainability of its debt. This builds on the significant efforts by the Greek government to carry forward its fiscal and structural reform agenda.
The initiatives include Greek debt buybacks, return of Securities Market Programme (SMP) profits to Greece, reduction of Greek Loan Facility (GLF) interest rates, significant extension of GLF and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) maturities, and the deferral of EFSF interest rate payments.
Taken together, these measures will help to bring back Greeces debt ratio to a sustainable path and facilitate a gradual return to market financing. The debt ratio is expected to decrease to 124 percent of GDP by 2020 through significant upfront debt reduction measures of 20 percent of GDP. In addition, I welcome the commitment by European partners to bring back Greece's debt to substantially below 110 percent of GDP by 2022, conditional on full implementation of the program by Greece. This represents a major debt reduction for Greece relative to its current debt trajectory.
Once progress has been made on specifying and delivering on the commitments made today, in particular implementation of the debt buybacks, I would be in a position to recommend to the IMF Executive Board the completion of the first review of Greeces program.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expressed his happiness at the EU-IMF agreement on to ease Greece's debt burden.
"Everything has gone well. All Greeks have fought (for this decision) and tomorrow is a new day for every Greek person," Samaras was quoted as saying in Athens.