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How secure is Greece's latest credit lifeline?

Friday, June 16, 2017 - 01:48

Euro zone governments throw Greece another 11th-hour credit lifeline worth $9.5 billion and outline new detail on possible debt relief. As Ivor Bennett reports, the breakthrough to a deal came after the IMF finally offered to help out after two years of hesitation.

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Greece's ruins are not just ancient nor architectural. But the government hopes the financial ones of recent years will at least be less permanent... after finally securing an 8.5 billion euro bailout agreement, pulling it back from the brink of default. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, EUCLID TSAKALOTOS, SAYING: "As a number of people have said today in the press conference of the four just before us, there is now that light at the end of the tunnel." The Greek press and people see it differently One headline reading: 'a lot of lies for one payment'. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER CONSTANTINOS TSIBELENIOS SAYING: "It's not going into my pocket, they are not going to give one single euro to pensioners." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK RESIDENT PETROS KOMMINAKIS, A CHEF, SAYING "If I promised you a cake, and then give you a small piece of candy, how would you feel? If the cake is the prospect of debt relief, then for some, it's only half-baked. The euro zone has said it would consider extending debt maturities in 2018 if it was linked to economic growth. That was enough to get the IMF to commit in principle to a bailout. But its funds won't come until a full deal is agreed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "They don't believe that the three and a half percent primary surplus for about 50 years is achievable - I would agree with them. But of course the euro zone has got the political problem of a lot of euro zone countries now own this debt and if there's a write off who pays? Well, it's the euro zone taxpayer." So for now it's an agreement to disagree. But it's still not clear if everyone has even agreed to that. There are calls in the German parliament for a full debate on the deal, with some believing it differs from the one they signed up to. The Greek epic, then, not over yet.

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How secure is Greece's latest credit lifeline?

Friday, June 16, 2017 - 01:48