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Greece on course for bailout extension

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 02:02

Euro zone finance ministers have approved Greece’s request for a bailout extension, following submission of a new reform plan which sees the Greek government compromise even further. David Pollard reports.

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A vital document submitted - just in time to meet a midnight deadline. Greece has now delivered a list of reforms it's promising to get an extension of its bailout. But with Brussels already warning it's only 'a starting point'. Eurogroup President, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP PRESIDENT, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING (WHEN ASKED IF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT IS SERIOUS ABOUT REFORMS): "This list is just an indication of the kind of reforms that they would like to push, like to replace and also the ones that they would like to continue. And it is going to take time to really get into the details and to design a new contract or agreement which will carry us on for four months." No time was wasted by Greek markets. They welcomed the document with a seven per cent rise in share prices. European indices buoyed too. Though with some worried they could be overreacting. ETX capital's Joe Rundle. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETX CAPITAL, HEAD TRADER, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: ''You've got a very politically-charged situation with the Greek electorate, and you've got a very steadfast approach by the Germans, and it's unlikely to meet in the middle, so there are reforms, but the problem is that the reforms are too far out to be achievable.'' And the reaction is at best mixed in Athens. Some see a climbdown by Greece's government. Others say compromise is the only way forward. And compromise is very much the theme of the new Greek list. With, crucially, a pledge not to roll back on ongoing or completed privatisations. And that extra spending on what the government calls the country's 'humanitarian crisis' will have no negative fiscal effects. It's not Greece, says Rundle, but Germany that emerges as the winner. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETX CAPITAL, HEAD TRADER, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: ''The German's don't have any real interest to solve southern Europe's debt problems. They want a slow, a very very slow recovery which keeps the euro artificially weak and therefore Germany can export cheaply.'' Germany has gone on record as welcoming the Greek plans. Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel talking of a step-by-step move towards a resolution of the fight with Greece. Saying that Germany wants Greece to stay in the euro zone.

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Greece on course for bailout extension

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 02:02