Greece concluded a three-year European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme with its place at the heart of the euro area, according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He said it’s an important moment for both Greece and Europe.

“While their European partners have demonstrated their solidarity, the Greek people have responded to every challenge with a characteristic courage and determination,” said Juncker on August 20. “I have always fought for Greece to remain at the heart of Europe. As the Greek people begin a new chapter in their storied history, they will always find in me an ally, a partner and a friend.”

In turn, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “The extensive reforms Greece has carried out have laid the ground for a sustainable recovery: this must be nurtured and maintained to enable the Greek people to reap the benefits of their efforts and sacrifices. Europe will continue to stand by Greece’s side.”

According to a European Commission press release, a total of €61.9bn in loans have been provided to Greece under this stability support programme.

Improving economic indicators confirm that while work remains to be done, the efforts undertaken are already delivering tangible benefits by restoring order to public finances, reducing unemployment, and securing a return to growth. Economic growth has rebounded from -5.5% in 2010 to 1.4% in 2017 and is expected to remain around 2% in 2018 and 2019.

In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that four successive Greek governments have struggled to stave off bankruptcy, relying on the biggest bailout in economic history, more than 260 billion euros lent by Greece’s euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).