The Eurozone Marathon

Early today, eurozone finance ministers finally approved the €130 billion rescue package to prevent Greece from defaulting, a move that will hopefully keep the country off the precipice before its bond repayment comes due March 20. Investors who own €200 billion of Greek debt have been asked to forgive 53.5 percent of the face value of the bonds, which will cut Greece's €350 billion debt load by €107 billion. This rescue package is contingent on Greece enacting stricter austerity measures.

Although the eurozone is taking big actions to prevent a financial crisis from spreading, its members are nowhere near being out of the woods. March 20 will be an important milestone, but even then the eurozone won't be out of ulcer-inducing territory for months. As Olli Rehn, European monetary affairs commissioner, said after the 14-hour meeting that hammered out the bailout plan, “I have learnt that marathon is indeed a Greek word.”

 

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