Accessibility links

Eurozone Leaders Agree To Bailout Program For Greece

  • RFE/RL

Eurozone leaders have reached a tentative agreement with Greece for a new bailout program, removing an immediate risk that the Balkan country could collapse financially and leave the euro.

The deal, which includes "serious reforms" and aid, was announced early on July 13 after 17 hours of talks in Brussels.

European leaders have welcomed the agreement but some warned that the deal was just a blueprint and that Greece needed to undertake serious reforms.

European Council President Donald Tusk said the agreement will allow Greece to "get back on track."

"The decision gives Greece a chance to avoid the social [and] political consequences of a negative outcome," Tusk said at a press conference at the end of the talks.

Tusk pointed out that "there are strict conditions to be met."

French President Francois Hollande said the Greek parliament should convene within hours to adopt new reforms.

WATCH: Mixed Response To Deal In Athens

The deal stipulates that the Greek parliament must adopt -- by July 15 -- laws to reform key parts of its economy. The reforms include streamlining the pension system, boosting tax revenue, liberalizing the labor market, privatizing the electricity network, and extending shop opening hours.

The eurozone agrees in principle to start negotiations on a loan package for Greece, and the country will also get short-term bridge financing to avoid bankruptcy.

The European Central Bank and eurozone finance ministers will tightly monitor Greek compliance with the bailout conditions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could recommend "with full confidence" that the Bundestag authorizes the opening of loan negotiations with Athens once the Greek parliament has approved the entire program and enacted the first laws.

"Europe has decided on a road map. Now everything depends on implementation," said Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece won concessions on restructuring Greece's debt and assured medium-term financing.

Tsipras said Greece faced "difficult decisions and hard dilemmas," adding the deal agreed in Brussels was the best outcome possible.

Stock markets responded positively to the news as it eased worries that Greece was heading for an exit from the eurozone.

Germany's DAX was 1.2 percent higher while the CAC-40 in France rose by 1.6 percent. The Stoxx 50 index of top European shares was up 1.7 percent.

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and the BBC