Euro zone agrees Greek debt relief, 15 billion new loans - Centeno

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers agreed in the early hours of Friday a debt relief package for Greece and a new disbursement of 15 billion euros (£13.1 billion) as part of its current 86-billion-euro bailout programme, the head of euro zone finance ministers said.

The deal involves a 10-year extension of maturities on loans from the European Financial Stability Facility and a 10-year deferral on interest payments, Mario Centeno told a news conference.

Centeno added that this will allow Greece to issue bonds across the yield curve. Athens is also likely to pay lower borrowing costs on its new bonds as the new package of aid will help set up a cash buffer totalling 24.1 bln euros that would cover Greek financing needs for 21 months, Centeno said.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski