Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos announced on Tuesday that his country had reached a long-awaited accord with its international creditors.
“There was white smoke,” Tsakalotos told reporters in Athens, using a term associated with papal elections.
The preliminary agreement, reached after overnight talks, paves the way for emergency funds to be paid to Greece under its latest bailout.
It also clears the way for discussions on debt-relief that Greece’s leftist-led government is seeking.
But the reforms required in return by the EU and IMF will be painful, not least for the elderly.
They face yet more cuts to their pensions, reportedly set to be slashed by an average of 9 percent in 2019.
The deal also includes labour and energy reforms as well as tax rises.
Greece now needs to legislate the new measures before euro zone finance ministers approve the payout, needed for Athens to repay some 7 billion euros of debt in July.
The next scheduled Eurogroup meeting is on May 22, where reducing Greece’s debt will also be discussed.
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