All will be fine as long as Greece abides by the rules and its commitments – that was the message from the first meeting of the Eurogroup following Sunday’s win in Athens by anti-austerity party Syriza.
Fellow eurozone members have been playing down fears of new financial troubles in the currency bloc, despite Greek election promises to write -off some its debts.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir stressed that the Greek people had decided and must be respected.Germany will off cooperation but naturally assumes Greece will stick to its agreed commitments.
If Greece was in any doubt about where its future lies, French president Francois Hollande was on hand to put them straight:
“Greece is in the eurozone, it wants to stay in the eurozone and Greece will stay in the eurozone.”
Britain’s David Cameron was more cautious and urged Athens to keep tackling its budget deficit, the IMF said it was ready to continue supporting Greece… so fairly positive – that is perhaps until all sides sit down at the negotiating table and the talking begins.
Since 2010, Greece has borrowed nearly 240bn euros under a debt restructuring plan. But a final bailout tranche of 7.2bn euros still has to be negotiated.
Greece has until February 28 when the current programme of loans to Greece under the European Financial Stability Facility ends.
For the first quarter of 2015 its estimated that Greece needs to raise about 4.3bn euros to pay its way.