22 billion € in financing to support Greece
A meeting in Brussels has produced a plan, supported by all 16 countries in the eurozone, to make available up to 22 billion euros in financing to support Greece, which is laden with debt.
The deal would come into force only if Greece was unable to borrow money from commercial lenders, and would require approval from all 16 eurozone countries.
While no figures were included in the agreement, anonymous officials said the total package would be around 22 billion euros, of which European countries would provide two-thirds.
The remainder would be supplied by the International Monetary Fund.
Germany and France were the architects of the document, which was subsequently approved by the other members of the eurozone. While it is seen as a partial retreat for countries such as France that previously opposed any IMF participation in the loans, it is nevertheless regarded as a breakthrough in negotiations. Germany had been insistent on relatively strong terms for the plan, a large amount of which was in the final version.
Despite the agreement, there are no plans for it to take immediate effect, as the Greek government has not requested financial aid, and officials said that they hoped the option would never have to be used. The president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, said that “the mechanism decided today will not normally need to be activated.”