Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to extend Greece’s bailout
by four months, officials have said.
The deal was reached after talks in Brussels which were delayed for four hours as ministers worked on a draft accord.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone’s top official and the Dutch finance minister, said Athens had asked for a six-month extension but this was considered too long.
“We have established common ground again to reach agreement on this common statement,” he said.
In return, Greece has committed not to pursue any “unilateral” measures that might affect the country’s budget targets.
Play video “Greece: Everything You Need To Know”
Greece: Everything You Need To Know
As part of the deal Greece must provide a list of reforms based on its current bailout programme for assessment on Monday.
This will be reviewed on Tuesday by the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission.
“The institutions will provide a first view whether this is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the (bailout) review,” said a eurozone statement.
Play video “Osborne Urges Eurozone Deal”
Osborne Urges Eurozone Deal
If the three bodies – dubbed the Troika by Greeks – do not believe the proposals go far enough, the list will be revised with a view to being agreed on by the end of April.
Mr Dijsselbloem said the loan extension was a “first step in this process of rebuilding trust” between Greece and its euro partners and allows for a strategy to get the country “back on track.”
“Trust leaves quicker than it comes,” he said.
Play video “Greek Rescue Package Explained”
Greek Rescue Package Explained
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said the deal would allow the country to rebuild ties with its EU partners.
“The four-month period will be a time to rebuild new relations with Europe and the IMF,” he told reporters.
He said Greece had not used any threats or bluff to get the agreement and added it was a small step to a new direction its people.
Gallery: Art War On The Streets Of Athens
Athens has become a Mecca for street artists as anger grows over the impact of Greece’s bailout deal with Europe
Wall paintings have sprung up all over the city reflecting the general frustration at rising unemployment and falling living standards
Link to this story: