A harsh new dawn for Greece as the euro zone finance ministers and the IMF agree a 110 billion euro three-year rescue package to bail-out the debt ridden country.
The euro zone will provide 80 billion in funding with a further 30 billion coming from the coffers of the IMF.
The deal is designed to prevent Athens from defaulting on its huge debt.
Jean Claude Trichet is head of the European Central Bank:
“We consider the programme is supported by a strong conditionality, that it addresses the relevant policy challenges in a decisive manner and we consider that it will help restore confidence and safeguard financial stability in the euro area”.
Still, it is unclear if the stagnant Greek economy can survive the austerity measures and remain in the euro zone with no control over its currency.
Greek Finance is George Papaconstantinou:
“There is absolutely no question that these are very difficult measures. And there is no question that there will be protests and people are hurt. But behind all this if you look and if you look at the opinion polls, if you get a real sense of what is going on in my country, you will get a very profound sense of a need for change.”
In return for the financial support the Greek government has agreed to a fresh round cost-cutting including tax hikes and deep cuts in pensions and public sector pay.
The success of the plan depends on public goodwill, which is already venting its fury at “corrupt politicians” whom the people blame for the crisis