Battle won, war ongoing: Greece takes 'step backwards' in bailout talks

Battle won, war ongoing: Greece takes 'step backwards' in bailout talks
By Euronews with Reuters
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'We've won a battle, but not the war' declares the Greek Prime Minister as a four-month loan extension looks set to keep the country afloat.

‘Real difficulties’ lie ahead, warned Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras following long and sometimes heated discussions with the euro group.

We've won a battle, but not the war.

A deal agreed on Friday (February 21) gives his Syriza government until Monday to submit a list of reforms to Greece’s lenders. If the list is approved, Tsipras will secure a four-month extension to euro-zone funding, which will keep Greece afloat.

“Yesterday, we won a battle, but not the war,” said Tsipras. “The difficulties – not just those regarding the negotiations and our relations with our partners – the real difficulties are ahead of us.”

The deal is seen as a step backwards. Despite campaign promises to the contrary, Athens will now be forced to accept a conditional extension of the EU/IMF bailout and – for the time being – continue to deal with the troika: inspectors from the European Commission; the European Central Bank; and the IMF, who are closely monitoring Greece’s compliance with its austerity promises.

However, the collapse of the agreement could provoke a Grexit – Greek exit from the euro zone – something the new government is keen to avoid.

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