Greece has successfully finished its eurozone bailout programme after being given tens of billions of euros to help fix its economy.
The country will now be able to borrow on international markets again, after effectively being locked out for 8 years by high interest rates.
This development comes after Greece saw its economy grow, unemployment decline and surplus in its budget and trade after years of heavy austerity.
A European Stability Mechanism (ESM) programme, which began in 2015 and lasted for 3 years, saw 62 billion euros of financial aid provided to Greece to assist with the re-balancing its economy and banking sector.
Another 24.1 billion euros was available under the programme but it was not needed.
Since 2010, Greece has been given a record 203.77 billion euros from the ESM and the European Financial Stability Facility, which is supported by eurozone countries.
Mario Centeno, chairman of the ESM board of governors, said that now the programme is coming to an end Greece is able to 'stand on its own feet'. He said that 'This was possible thanks to the extraordinary effort of the Greek people, the good cooperation with the current Greek government and the support of European partners through loans and debt relief'.
He further stated that 'The ultimate goal of the financial assistance plan and reforms in Greece over the past eight years has been to create a new basis for healthy and sustainable growth. It took much longer than expected but I believe we are there: Greece’s economy is growing again, there is a budget and trade surplus, and unemployment is falling steadily.'
However, not all figures point towards a Greek recovery.
According to the Guardian, y 2023 it is forecast that its unemployment rate will fall to 14%, well above the eurozone average of 8.3%. Also, youth unemployment is at 43.6%, the worst in the EU. It also has the highest government debt in the EU, 177% of gross domestic product, and is predicted to be repaying loans until 2060. These are just some of the statistics that dampen optimism.