Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

After €300 billion in aid, Greece will exit its bailout on shaky ground

After €300 billion in aid, Greece will exit its bailout on shaky ground

Greece is slated to leave its financial rescue on August 20 and finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the single currency were under pressure to offer Athens a goodbye deal that left it strong in the eyes of the financial markets.

"The Greek government is happy with the agreement", Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said after the talks.

"Greek debt is sustainable going forward", said eurogroup president Mario Centeno.

Greek main opposition party New Democracy in a statement doubted whether Thursday's deal is the final solution to Greece's woes.

"That means agreeing upfront measures to meaningfully lighten Greece's debt burden, which must be put on a sustainable path", European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said. "It is a historic moment".

Under German demands, Greece's debt relief in the short-term will be conditional on the continued implementation of reforms, which if successful could inject about one billion euros to the government's underfunded budget every year.

Under Friday's decision, Greece will receive a final 15 billion-euro ($17 billion) bailout loan installment, 9.5 billion of which will shore up an existing cash kitty to keep the country afloat post-bailout.

Overall, Greece will be leaving the program with a sizeable cash buffer of 24.1 billion euros covering the sovereign financial needs for around 22 months following the end of the program in August 2018, which represents a significant backstop against any risks. In return, it had to commit to stringent budget austerity programs that hurt the finances of ordinary Greeks and caused a major rift between Athens and many euro nations.

"We have a deal on Greece", a European source said confirmed by other official sources, after more than six hours of talks dominated by last minute resistance by Germany.

Still, Moscovici said, "at last after eight years of hard reforms, of tough adjustments in our programs, Greece will be capable of moving on its own two feet".

Sorras founded the Convention of Greeks political group, claiming to have access to enough money in foreign bonds to cover Greece's 320 billion-euro foreign debt.

To make a deal possible, Greek lawmakers last week pushed through a last batch of economic reforms required by the creditors, including pension cuts to health care and tax reforms.

Tsakalotos voiced confidence that Greece will be able to tap bond markets "very soon", but said the precise details have not yet been determined.

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