Eurozone approves Greece bailout
Monday, May 3, 2010
The European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed to provide the ailing Greek economy with 110 billion euros (US$146 billion) worth of loans over three years. Finance ministers from the sixteen countries that use the euro – known as the eurozone – approved the plan yesterday.
According to the plan, the EU is to provide 80 billion euros of the loans, and the IMF the other 30 billion; it is aimed at preventing Greece from defaulting on debt.
Before being fully implemented, however, the proposal must be individually approved by all fifteen other countries in the eurozone. According to Luxembourgish prime minister Jean-Claude Junker, up to 30 billion euros would be given to Greece in the first year.
German chancellor Angela Merkel commented on the proposal yesterday, saying: "The programmme is without alternative to safeguard the stability of the euro."
The Greek government yesterday predicted that the country's gross domestic product would drop by four percent this year; it also forecast the national debt, currently at 115% of GDP, will increase to 149% in 2013, before going down.