Greece says new bailout agreement secured

Greek finance minister says minor details left pending in talks with lenders.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said 'two or three details remain' after all-night negotiations with international lenders [EPA]
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said 'two or three details remain' after all-night negotiations with international lenders [EPA]

Greece has secured a new bailout agreement, government officials have said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Euclid Tsakaloto, Greece’s finance minister, told reporters that discussions have “moved very far forward” and that “two or three details remain”.

He did not provide further details.

The European Commission said that Greece has reached a technical agreement “in principle” with its internationl creditors on a third debt bailout which now requires political approval.

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“What we have at the moment is a technical level agreement … and small details need to be finalised. What we don’t have is a political agreement, Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said after Greek officials in Athens announced an accord after lengthy talks.

Greece’s government is hoping to push the new $93bn three-year agreement through parliament this week.

However, many in the ruling left-wing Syriza party are voicing their opposition to the deal, which would see the imposition of further spending cuts among a series of austerity measures.

Figures next week are set to confirm that Greece’s recession deepened in the second quarter as concerns over the country’s euro future dented confidence.

‘Negotiating fiasco’

While Greece’s parliament ratified further tax hikes and reforms, the response by Syriza lawmakers has left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ party with only a nominal parliamentary majority. It depends on opposition backing to pass key creditor-demanded legislation.

That has stoked talk that Tsipras will call early elections soon after the bailout deal is signed. Tsipras still retains strong personal support in opinion polls, which show Syriza heading for a potentially big victory.

Former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who is opposed to the new bailout agreement, has dismissed it as “a negotiating fiasco” and said Tsipras  could not “avoid the outcry by resorting guiltily and hurriedly to elections”.

However, the government spokeswoman insisted Monday that “there are no electoral thoughts”.

“The election talk cultivated in recent days is neither useful nor does it correspond to reality,” spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said in a statement, adding  that the government was focused on concluding a deal and then negotiating debt relief with its creditors.


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