By Jonathan Stearns & Jeff Black
Euro-area finance ministers reached a provisional deal intended to keep aid flowing to Greece in return for a commitment to continued economic reforms, buying time to work out the detail of longer-term Greek financing.
Talks in Brussels between officials from the 19 euro-area finance officials concluded Friday evening with an agreement to extend bailout funds to Greece for four months. In return, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government must submit a list of reform measures it will undertake on Monday. Finance chiefs will then decide whether the Greek measures go far enough.
“It’s an important first step,” Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told reporters after the meeting. “We’ll see if it’s enough on Monday night-Tuesday morning.”
A breakthrough in the standoff between Greece and its creditors eases the immediate risk of Tsipras’s government running out of cash as early as next month. The Greek reform measures are still subject to validation by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the institutions collectively known as the troika which Tsipras vowed not to recognize.
Finance ministers will hold a conference call to discuss the Greek response, after which the deal would be put to national parliaments including Germany’s Bundestag next week.