Wednesday 25 May 2016 7:14 am

Greek debt crisis: Eurozone strikes deal with Greece for €10.3bn bailout

The Eurozone hammered out a €10.3bn (£7.9bn) bailout deal with Greece in the early hours of this morning.

European finance ministers hailed the deal as a breakthrough, given that it carries with it a commitment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to return to taking part in the bailout.

The IMF coming back on board reflects the new measures put in place by the Eurozone to help Greece meet its debt repayments. The IMF's European director Poul Thomsen said he believed the measures would "deliver the necessary debt relief" but cautioned that it was still up to the IMF board in Washington to determine whether to agree with his assessment.

The Eurozone has also agreed that it will offer Athens further debt relief in 2018 if it is necessary in order to meet payments criteria.

"We achieved a major breakthrough on Greece which enables us to enter a new phase in the Greek financial assistance program," said Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister.

"This is stretching what I thought would have been possible not so long ago."

The Greek finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, was also positive about the deal: ""I think there is some ground for optimism that this can be the beginning of turning Greece's vicious circle of recession-measures-recession into one where investors have a clear runway to invest in Greece."

Meanwhile, French finance minister Michel Sapin, praised Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for pushing through painful reforms in a bid to unlock the first tranche of debt relief next month.

"Even if the discussions were long, the atmosphere was always extremely relaxed," he said. "This deal is first and foremost a declaration of confidence in today's Greece."