The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been talking up the agreement with European creditors under which the country will make further reforms in 2019.
Defending the deal in parliament he said: “Today, I have the absolute conviction we have achieved an honourable compromise. For the first time in seven years it was agreed, and this is crucial, to leave behind us this principle of perpetual austerity.”
Tsipras insisted it will mark an end to austerity with any impact on the Greek people being offset by government-proposed relief measures.
His left-led coalition government, which trailing in polls, has been at pains to paint a positive picture of the deal for austerity-weary Greeks hammered by seven years of a financial crisis that has wiped a quarter off the economy.
But the devil could be in the details; the compromise had been reached so that experts from Greece’s foreign lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, can return to Athens and assess what further measures are needed.
No details of the potential measures have been provided.
Greece has to agree to adopt the so far unspecified reforms to convince the IMF to participate in its current bailout programme.
The review of Greece’s bailout progress has dragged on for months mainly due to a rift between the EU and the IMF over the country’s fiscal targets in 2018, when its programme ends, and the post-bailout period.
Tsipras said he expected that review to be concluded by March 20.