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European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (L) arrives at a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels November 26, 2012. Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund began their third attempt in as many weeks to release emergency aid for Greece on Monday, with policymakers saying a write-down of Greek debt is off the table for now.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (L) arrives at a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels November 26, 2012. Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund began their third attempt in as many weeks to release emergency aid for Greece on Monday, with policymakers saying a write-down of Greek debt is off the table for now.
(Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

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Greek deal isn’t perfect, but at least it’s a deal

The stand-off between Greece’s lenders has ended – sort of. The deal isn’t perfect but it paves the way for further debt relief.

The negotiations over restructuring Greece’s second bailout promised a potentially explosive end-game. The IMF wanted Greece’s debt, careering badly off course, to be cut to a “sustainable” 120 per cent of gross domestic product in 2020, from a projected 144 per cent. The euro zone, led by Germany, refused to take the principal loss that it would involve, as outright haircuts were seen as politically toxic. Without a deal, Greece would be cut adrift.