Euro zone governments offered Greece debt relief in 2018 last week as EUR 10.3 billion in new funds have been released in recognition of painful fiscal reforms pushed through by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's leftist-led coalition, subject to some final technical tweaks.
But the bigger step forward was the debt relief deal because it provided investors with more certainty that their money in Greece would be safe, paving the way for a return to market financing for Athens in 2018 and for foreign direct investment.
The euro zone believes that Greece will be able to reach a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP in 2018 and keep it at that level for a decade.
While euro zone ministers did not make an unconditional promise of debt relief, they spelled out criteria for stretching out maturities on Greece's loans and the grace period before it has to start paying interest on them.
They agreed that Greek gross financing needs should be kept below 15 percent of its annual economic output in the medium term and below 20 percent beyond that.
Who owns Greece’s public debt? Currently, close to 80% of Greece’s public debt is owned by public institutions — primarily from the EU (member-states, ECB and EFSF) and the IMF. The rest is owned by private creditors.