Greece agrees on broad terms of bailout

Published 8:02 am Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has agreed on the broad terms of a new three-year bailout package with international creditors, with a few last details expected to be ironed out Tuesday.

Finalizing quickly the deal for about 85 billion euros ($93 billion) in new loans would prevent the country from defaulting on its debts next week and secure its future in the euro.

“We are very close. Two or three very small details remain,” Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said as he emerged Tuesday morning from all-night discussions with the creditors’ negotiators.

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The European Commission, a key negotiator in the talks, confirmed the progress.

“The institutions and the Greek authorities achieved an agreement in-principle on a technical basis and talks are still ongoing on finalizing details,” said Annika Breidthardt, the Commission’s spokeswoman for economic affairs. She said the details were expected to be cleared up Tuesday.

She noted that an agreement still requires approval from higher-level representatives, and that senior finance officials from the 28 EU nations would hold a conference call later Tuesday.

Greece’s government is hoping to push an agreement through parliament this week, ahead of a meeting between eurozone finance ministers on Friday.

Germany, the largest single contributor to Greece’s two previous bailouts and among the toughest negotiators so far, remained cautious on the timing. “We will have to examine the results that come in the course of today,” deputy finance minister Jens Spahn told n-tv television.

Investors cheered the news of progress.

Greece’s government borrowing rates fell, a sign investors are less worried about a default. The 2-year bond yield dropped by 4.2 percentage points to 14.73 percent. The Athens Stock Exchange, which reopened recently after being shut for five weeks during the most severe part of Greece’s financial crisis, was up 2.2 percent in midday trading.