India and Greece have been awarded their first two holidays in the country after a three-day diplomatic summit.
The deal came after Greece and India agreed to a new “special package” worth more than $15 billion in cash, food, accommodation and travel to the two countries.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the deal as a “major step forward in the bilateral relations”, and said that the agreement was “a victory for our citizens”.
“India and Greece are the only two countries in the world that have been able to come together to achieve a common vision for peace and prosperity,” he said.
“The two countries have now reached a historic milestone.
We are now on the road to a much more productive relationship.”
India and its partners agreed to the package in a two-day meeting in India’s capital, New Delhi.
Mr Singh said the deal will boost trade and investment between the two nations.
He said the new deal will bring in a total of $15bn worth of goods and services to India and $15.5bn in trade and investments with Greece.
“India is a close friend of Greece.
It’s our country.
It has always been our country,” he added.
As part of the deal, India will receive $2.2bn in direct subsidies, with the other $2bn to be paid back in future payments.
It is understood that Greece is the only country in the EU that does not have an “indirect subsidy” mechanism, which means the recipient has to pay directly to the government.
In the meantime, India has pledged $1.5 billion to help Greece as part of a €1bn ($1.8bn) fund for Greece, which it will tap into in the next year.
Greece and India have already signed a $1bn loan agreement for 2017.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Greece’s debt was at $2 trillion last year, with its current outstanding amount of €1.1 trillion.