Greece 'turning a page' as eurozone agrees debt relief

Germany turns out to be a major beneficiary of Greece’s debt crisis as it earned a total of 2.9 billion euros since 2010

The carrot offered for this "enhanced surveillance" will be annual disbursements from the profits that euro-area central banks made on their Greek bonds portfolio and the elimination of an interest-rate penalty charged on some bailout loans, according to the memo.

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) holds more than half of the country's public debt and, as its biggest creditor, is keen to see Greece regain market access sustainably.

Shut out of debt markets in 2010, Greece is set to exit its global bailout program formally in August.

The agreement will end the eight-year debt-relief program for Greece, in which the country received 300 billion euros in three financial assistance programs as agreed in 2010, 2011 and 2015 in exchange for structural reforms and fiscal adjustments.

"Greece is turning a page, its debt is now viable", government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

Eurozone Ministers on Thursday will try to resolve their differences over the terms of Greece's departure from its massive bailout programme with splits over the degree of debt relief needed by cash-strapped Athens.

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The EU is stressing that Greece's debt problem, which triggered a credit crisis in the region, is over.

Yields on Greek bonds dropped with the 10-year note falling as much as 1.01 percent at 11.57 am Athens time on Wednesday to nearly a month low, while the Athens Stock Exchange General Index rose as much as 1.1 percent in intraday trading amid optimism that euro-area finance ministers will reach a deal on Greece on Thursday.

"We will ensure that the pressure to implement further reforms remains strong.in the medium and long term", said Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loger. Athens will have to undergo quarterly reviews of its finances (more frequent than during the bailouts) and adhere to strict budget constraints.

An activist who urged Greeks not to pay their taxes, claiming he had access to enough money to pay off the country's enormous debt, has been remanded in custody pending trial on criminal fraud charges.

Greece "has fulfilled its obligations, and now the Eurogroup must keep its promises", MP Kindler said, calling for "substantial debt relief" for the troubled Mediterranean nation.

The International Monetary Fund welcomed the deal saying it would improve Greek debt sustainability in the medium term.

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