Greece emerges from eurozone bailout programme

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Athens, Aug 20 (IANS) Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone bailout programme designed to help it cope with the fallout from its debt crisis, the media reported on Monday.

For the first time in eight years, Greece is now free to borrow money on the financial markets, reports the BBC.

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a fund set up by the countries that use the euro currency to deal with a financial crisis, provided the country with 61.9 billion pounds ($70 billion) over the three years.

This supported the Greek government’s efforts to reform the nation’s troubled economy and recapitalise its banks.

Together with assistance from the International Monetary Fund, the loans given to Greece since 2010 amounted to more than 260 billion pounds – the biggest bailout in global financial history.

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As a condition of the loans, the Greek government was forced to introduce a series of unpopular austerity measures.

The Greek economy has grown slowly in recent years and is still 25 per cent smaller than when the crisis began.

–IANS

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