Greece says Eurogroup debt deal positive, debt now viable

FILE PHOTO: Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos speaks during a news conference with European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis (not pictured) at the Finance ministry in Athens, Greece, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Friday a deal extending and deffering repayments on part of Greece’s debt pile sent a clear signal to markets that the country had turned a corner from crises which rattled it in the past.

Euro zone finance ministers on Friday offered Greece a 10-year deferral and maturities extension on a large part of past loans as well as 15 billion euros in new credit to ensure Athens can stand on its own feet after it exits its bailout in August.

“I have to say that the Greek government is happy with this deal. We consider that debt is now viable, we can now have access to the markets .. But at the same time this government will not forget what the Greek people went through in the past eight years,” Tsakalotos told reporters.

Greece’s current international bailout, the country’s third rescue program since 2010, ends in August.

“I think this is the end of the Greek crisis, I think Greece is turning a page, I think it has all the building blocks there to leave the program with confidence that we can access the markets and we can implement our growth strategy and turn the agenda away from one of fiscal adjustment .. to one of growth,” Tsakalotos said.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou