Greece, lenders clinch bailout deal after marathon talks

By REUTERS
August 11, 2015 09:44
1 minute read.

Greece and its international lenders clinched a multi-billion-euro bailout agreement on Tuesday after marathon talks through the night, officials said, raising hopes aid can be disbursed in time for a major debt repayment falling due in days.

After an 23-hour session that began Monday afternoon, exhausted Greek officials emerged in a central Athens hotel to announce the two sides had agreed details of the deal though a couple of minor issues remained to be ironed out.

"Finally, we have white smoke," a finance ministry official said. "An agreement has been reached. Some minor details are being discussed right now."

The pact is expected to be worth up to 86 billion euros ($94.75 billion) in fresh loans for debt-ridden Greece, but there was no immediate confirmation of its size.

Greek officials have said they expect the accord to be ratified by parliament on Wednesday or Thursday and then be vetted by euro zone finance ministers on Friday. This would pave the way to aid disbursements by Aug. 20, when a 3.2 billion euro debt payment is due to the European Central Bank.

An agreement would close a painful chapter of aid talks for Greece, which fought against austerity terms demanded by creditors for much of the year before relenting under the threat of being bounced out of the euro zone.

Still, popular misgivings run deep in Germany, the euro zone country that has contributed most to Greece's two bailouts since 2010, about funnelling yet more money to Athens.


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