Greece, EU Reach Agreement Over Bailout Plan

  • VOA News

    February 21, 2015 08:43

    Eurozone finance ministers agreed Friday to extend Greece's bailout loan program for four months, overcoming a Greece-Germany stand-off.

    Greek officials are expected to present a list of comprehensive reforms on Monday for the country's debt inspectors to assess. Parties realized that is more beneficial to be "logical than ideological," an EU official said.

    European creditors had insisted that any extension to loans should have strings attached to some budget measures and reforms.

    Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup, said the deal will extend Greece's loans for four months. Greece had requested a six month extension.

    The breakthrough sent the global market indices up in Europe and the United States. 

    The loan extension would allow Greece to pay its bills and avoid an eventual bankruptcy and fallout from the eurozone.

    European leaders said Friday before the agreement was reached that Greece should stay in the 19-nation eurozone, as finance ministers were working to reach a compromise.

    Speaking at a joint news conference in Paris after talks with French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her country's position "since the beginning of the Greek program" has been that Greece remains a member of the eurozone, adding that Berlin "would do everything to continue along this path."

    Germany, the main European creditor, has repeatedly said that any extension of loans was "inextricably" linked to the reforms agreed to by the previous Greek government.

    Greece's leftist government had rejected that option, arguing that conditions attached to the bailout package have plunged the country into poverty.

    Some information in this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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