Greece gets 'historic' debt relief deal


"I think that this is the final agreement that we expected on the question of Greek debt".

The ministers finalised the last revision of the third bailout program after verifying that Athens has complied with the 88 requirements, and consequently approved a final disbursement of 15 billion euros.

Eurozone states declared the severe debt crisis that has weighed heavy on the country since 2010 to be over, allowing Athens to escape some of the supervision of its creditors from August.

"Greek debt is sustainable going forward", Eurogroup President Mario Centeno told journalists. "We finally got to the end of this path which was so long and hard".

"It took a bit longer than we expected, but ended in a very good way", Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said.

"It is an exceptional moment", Pierre Moscovici, the EU's economy commissioner, said after the meeting.

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Greece has already received 275 billion euros ($320 billion) in financial support from the European Union over the past eight years. The main stock index opened more than 2 percent up, but closed the day marginally down.

"From now on we have targets and we commit to observe them, but it is at the discretion of each Greek government to select the means for achieving these targets", Tsipras said.

Including previous loans and financing Greece is drawing on, eurozone officials said the country will have a buffer of 24.1 billion euros that cover its financial needs for about 22 months after the end of the program. A deal to ease Greek debt has always been seen as a key ingredient in the country's successful return to economic health and foray back into financial markets.

"We will ensure that the pressure to implement further reforms remains the medium and long term", said Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loger. "We believe the debt is now sustainable and we will be able to tap markets". But investors charged high rates to lend Greece the money.

After the bailout, Athens will remain on a tight leash through post-programme monitoring that officials said would be stricter for Greece than for Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus after their respective bailouts. Greece's economy has already contracted by about a quarter since its financial crisis began in late 2009 and growth is a key element in reducing the debt burden.

The Eurogroup ministers reached an agreement in principle on the size of the last loan tranche to Greece and debt relief measure, early on Friday morning, according to a Eurozone source in Luxembourg.