Greece’s euro partners approve billions in new loans for third bailout

Greece does not want an interim loan and is hoping to tap the full bailout package by next week.


The finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the single European currency have approved a third bailout for Greece. Greece’s obligations will peak at 201 percent of gross domestic product next year, before dropping to 160 percent in 2022 under a new rescue program, according to their projections in a document obtained by Bloomberg.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal sent a message “loud and clear” – Greece will stay in the eurozone.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said ministers would have to be sure the Greek government would carry out the promised reforms.

“We are ready to support Greece with all our instruments – from technical assistance to financial support”, he was quoted as saying in the statement.

There will now be a series of votes in national European parliaments to back the bailout deal.

“I remain firmly of the view that Greece’s debt has become unsustainable and that Greece can not restore debt sustainability exclusively through actions on its own”, she said.

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Greece today does not have the luxury of further prolonged uncertainty because its fate is still at stake, political analysts warned.

But when Germany’s finance minister threatened to bounce the nation out of the eurozone, the government folded.

Hardleft Syriza party leader Mr Tsipras saw almost a third of his 149 MPs vote against him or abstain, including motorbiking former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, amid anger that he had given in to austerity demands.

But there were 31 “No” votes from Syriza members, and 11 abstentions – the biggest rebellion within the Syriza party so far.

“I’m actually quite confident that we can reach an agreement today”, Schaeuble told reporters in Brussels.

The unexpected boost for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras comes as Greece’s parliament meets in emergency session on Thursday to ratify a new bailout deal, although it is unclear whether the multibillion-euro agreement had the vital backing of Germany.

If Tsipras loses the confidence vote – which is expected to be held after August 20 – it could trigger a snap election.

A “Yes” vote by MPs was required for eurozone ministers to endorse the deal to release the funds.


“But Berlin opposes writing off any Greek debt, although it is open to the idea of extending grace periods before Athens has to start paying interest and principal on its bailout loans”. Officials said the International Monetary Fund needed more assurances and details on Greek reforms, notably to pensions, and steps to persuade it that Greece’s debt burden was sustainable.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Greece's Euclid Tsakalotos arrive for the Eurogroup meeting on Greece in Brussels