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Greece reaches agreement 'in principle' on third bailout ahead of ECB debt repayment


Greece reaches agreement 'in principle' on third bailout ahead of ECB debt repayment


Greek Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos and his negotiating team emerged from all-night negotiations in an Athens hotel with one official announcing, with a sense of relief, “finally we have white smoke, an agreement has been reached.” The cold light of day brought the detail of Greece’s third bailout.

Brussels has stressed a “technical” deal has been reached on the 86 billion euro three-year package. Now political progress is critical for all parties.

“The institutions and the Greek authorities achieved an agreement in principle, on a technical basis and talks are still ongoing on finalizing details. Next step is a political assessment to be made. And as you know as long as negotiations are ongoing and no political agreement is reached, we will not comment on details of any agreement,” EU Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt told reporters.

Athens hopes to push the agreement through parliament later this week ahead of the August 20 deadline for its debt repayment of about three billion euros to the European Central Bank.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is set to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

It’s understood the EU Commission, the ECB, the European bailout fund and the IMF reached an agreement on dealing with non-performing loans held by banks, setting up an asset sales fund and deregulation of the natural gas market which had been sticking points.

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