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Eurozone Leaders Agree On Measures To Safeguard Currency

The debt crisis in Greece and subsequent protests last year had threatened to engulf the entire eurozone.
Leaders of the 17 countries using the euro have agreed on a series of measures aimed at safeguarding the currency and supporting its credibility amid the upheavals of the European debt crisis.

The measures include increasing the lending capacity of the eurozone's bailout fund to its full 440 billion euros. The measures were announced at a summit in Brussels.

Until now, the stability fund was able to lend out only 250 billion euros of the total because of strict conditions.

It was also agreed at the summit that the eurozone will lower interest rates for Greece's bailout by one percentage point, to under five percent. Greece will also get seven years to repay its loans, up from 3.5 years.

Greece last year received 110 billion euros in rescue funds to help it survive a debt crisis that had threatened to engulf the entire eurozone.

compiled from agency reports