As head of Europe’s leading economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel had gone into these talks promising to protect the German people from shouldering too much of the burden of the rescue.
She said: “I think that we Europeans have shown tonight that we came to the right conclusions. We identified and named the reasons for the crisis and brought the problems a step more towards a solution.”
It was not just Greece on the agenda.
Italy, with its precariously debt-laden economy, promised to raise the retirement age, something that pleased EU leaders, but only if it is actually implemented.
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “These are extremely important decisions taken by 17 countries. The complexity of the matters under discussion, the need to get everyone to agree meant it was a long night. I think the result will be welcomed by the whole world.”
The success of the deal rests with the reaction of the financial markets which will show their response once they have digested the details of the scheme.