BRUSSELS Nov 26 Euro zone finance ministers
agreed on Monday to lower the interest rate charged on loans
made to Greece and to return profits made on Greek bonds by the
European Central Bank to Athens, allowing the country to cut its
After nearly 10 hours of talks, the ministers agreed that
the interest rate on bilateral loans to Greece would be reduced
by 100 basis points to 50 basis points above the cost of
financing once Athens has reached a primary surplus of 4.5
percent of GDP, a source familiar with the discusssions said.
The 17 euro zone ministers also agreed that profits held by
the ECB under its Securities Market Programme would be returned
by national central banks to Athens, reducing Greece's debt pile
by a further 11 billion euros, the official said.
"The Greek Loan Facility (GLF) will be lowered by 100 bps
when Greece reaches a primary surplus of 4.5 pct. SMP will be
around 11 bln euros," the source said.
The overall aim is to cut Greek debt by 40 billion euros by
2020 so that the debt-to-GDP ratio is cut from a currently
forecast 144 percent to a target of 124 percent.