Greece says new bailout terms agreed with lenders

Paterniano Del Favero
Mag 9, 2017

Greece's major European creditors, however, are reluctant to discuss further debt relief amid the bailout's growing unpopularity in their own countries.

This deal is expected to be approved at May 22nd's Eurogroup meeting.

Two years ago when the country was on the cusp of a euro exit - so-called Grexit - Tsipras signed off on the country's third global bailout.

"Tsipras has been able to command remarkable discipline in his party up to now", said Joan Hoey, regional director for Europe at the Economist Intelligence Unit. "We will see whether that continues to apply in coming weeks".

Describing the deal as a "national failure", Mitsotakis said it was tantamount to a fourth bailout as it entails measures after the current bailout program ends next year.

The new measures - which include fresh pension cuts, tax hikes and changes to the labor and energy market - are to go to the House in one bill and the so-called countermeasures - chiefly social welfare benefits - in a separate bill, he said.

These talks will now be held at finance minister level, he said.

U.S. GOVERNMENT SPENDING: In other reassuring news, the House of Representatives is due to vote Wednesday on a spending bill that would fund most government operations through September.

"There is no excuse of lack of agreement" in the talks, he said. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Greece and its creditors had agreed on a round of austerity measures and economic overhauls to keep the 86 billion euro ($93.86 billion) bailout program going. "Both Greece and its creditors are de facto buying time before talks, including those on the details of debt relief, can advance after the German elections later this year".

Tsakalotos added he was certain that the agreement would enable Greece to secure debt relief measures from its creditors, which he has said is vital to spearhead recovery in the country's struggling economy.

They were supported in their rhetoric by European Union commissioner Pierre Moscovici who issued a statement lauding the apparent agreement. In the latest standoff, Greece needs an installment of about 7 billion euros in aid to repay lenders in a few months, yet some euro-area governments, notably Germany, refuse to pay out until the International Monetary Fund comes on board.

European bourses reacted positively to news of the debt agreement led by the Athens general share index which rose more than 3 per cent to 734.

Investors welcomed the agreement, pushing yields on Greek government debt to their highest point since 2014 as they bought Greek bonds.

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