herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Greece strikes bailout extension deal

Greece and its creditors in the 19-nation eurozone have reached an agreement on extending the country's rescue loans, a move that should ease concerns it was heading for the euro exit door.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, said a deal was agreed on that will extend Greece's loans for four months, not the six months that the Greek government had requested yesterday.

In return, Greece has committed to not take any measures that might affect the country's budget targets. Greece has committed to provide a list of reforms based on its current bailout programme for assessment on Monday.

The review will be carried out on Tuesday by representatives from the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission.

"The institutions will provide a first view whether this is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the (bailout) review," according to the eurozone statement.

If the institutions do not think the proposals are good enough, Greece would be facing financial trouble again. Its bailout ends after February 28.

This list will then be further detailed and agreed upon by the end of April.

Mr Dijsselbloem said the deal was a "first step in this process of rebuilding trust" between Greece and its euro partners. Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis welcomed the deal, saying it is "a small step in the right direction".

hnews@herald.ie

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