Greek crisis: Eurozone ministers agree to third bailout

 
Jessica Morris
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Juncker said the Eurozone and Greece had "looked into the abyss" (Source: Getty)

Eurozone finance ministers last night agreed to a third bailout deal for Greece, helping the cash-strapped country avoid bankruptcy and almost certain exit from the single currency bloc.

"New loans of up to €86bn (£61bn) will be made available over the next three years to Greece," the European Commission said in a statement made after six hours of talks in Brussels.

The first tranche of loans will be for €26bn. This will include €13bn to pay pressing bills and an extra €10bn to recapitalise Greece's banks.

The new deal ends months of high stakes and at times bitter negotiations, during which Greece came uncomfortably close to crashing out of the Eurozone.

"Together, we have looked into the abyss. But today, I am glad to say that all sides have respected their commitments. Greece is living up to its ambitious reform commitments," Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said.

Read more: IMF says Greece needs debt relief despite new bailout deal

"The message of today's Eurogroup is loud and clear: on this basis, Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the Euro area."

But the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) role remains uncertain, and it will review the situation in Autumn, because it needs more assurances on and detail on Greek reforms and the sustainability of Greece's debt burden.

A number of Eurozone ministers have previously said they thought IMF's involvement in a third bailout was vital. And the German parliament, as well as those of some other Eurozone countries, still need to vote on whether to approve the new bailout deal.

It comes after more than half of the Greece's 300-strong parliament voted in favour of the bailout deal yesterday. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had fought off a rebellion, as some members of his far-left Syriza party refused to accept tax rises and spending cuts.

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