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Greece granted second chance to tackle debt crisis: FinMin

(Xinhua)

08:57, February 22, 2012

ATHENS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Greece avoided the nightmare scenario of a possible default as early as next month and was granted a second chance to tackle the debt crisis with the strong support of European counterparts, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Tuesday.

"We avoided a nightmare scenario, for Greece, the eurozone, Europe and global economy," he told a press briefing in Athens upon his return from Brussels.

Just a few hours ago euro group had cleared a fresh 130-billion-euro (172.33 billion U.S. dollars) rescue loans package for Greece combined with an over 100 billion euro (132.56 billion dollars) worth Greek debt restructuring agreement with private creditors, known as Private Sector Involvement (PSI) plan.

"The agreement gives Greece a new opportunity," Venizelos stressed referring to the second European Union (EU)/International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package for Greece since May 2010 that gives the country vital aid to cover its financial needs, avoid a chaotic bankruptcy and restore stability and development to exit the crisis.

Without the new loans, Greece would not manage to cover a 14.5-billion-euro (19.22 billion dollars) bond repayment on March 20.

Greece is shut out of international markets since 2010 due to extremely high interest rates and depends on the EU/IMF bailout assistance that comes on lower interest rates.

Greece must work hard without wasting time to implement the stability and growth program and meet its commitments in return, Venizelos underlined.

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