Euro Zone Leaders Reach Agreement To Rescue Greece
Euro zone leaders made Greece surrender much of its sovereignty to outside supervision on Monday in return for agreeing to talks on an 86 billion euros bailout to keep the near-bankrupt country in the single currency.The terms imposed by international lenders led by Germany in all-night talks at an emergency summit obliged leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to abandon promises of ending austerity and could fracture his government and cause an outcry in Greece.
Greece won conditional agreement to receive a possible 86 billion euros ($95 billion) over three years. As part of the deal, euro zone finance ministers will discuss on Monday how to keep Greece financed during the time it will need to agree a bailout, but none of the options appear easy, officials said.
Athens must meet a tight timetable for enacting unpopular reforms of value added tax, pensions, budget cuts, bankruptcy rules and an EU banking law that could be used to make big depositors take losses.
Tsipras accepted a compromise on German-led demands for the sequestration of Greek state assets worth 50 billion euros - including recapitalised banks - in a trust fund beyond government reach, to be sold off primarily to pay down debt. In a gesture to Greece, some 12.5 billion euros of the proceeds would go to investment in Greece, Merkel said.
The Greek leader had to drop his opposition to a full role for the International Monetary Fund in the next bailout, which Merkel had insisted on to win parliamentary backing in Berlin.
In a sign of how hard it may be for Tsipras to convince his own Syriza party to accept the deal, Labor Minister Panos Skourletis said the terms were unviable and would lead to new elections this year.