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Euro zone strikes deal with Greece

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 02:13

Euro zone leaders have clinched a deal with Greece to negotiate a third bailout to keep the near-bankrupt country in the euro zone. As Sonia Legg reports, it followed a whole night of haggling at an emergency summit.

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Euro zone leaders argued through the night - the breakthrough finally came after 15 hours. And the agreement was unanimous. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We achieved this despite the recent loss of the most valuable currency, namely trust in each other." European markets gave a weary cheer to the news - the FTSEurofirst 300 opened up 1.3 percent to hit a 2-week high. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese bonds rallied in debt markets. And the euro rose initially before dropping back. Adam Myers is European Head of FX Strategy at Credit Agricole SOUNDBITE: Adam Myers, European Head of FX Strategy, Credit Agricole, saying (English): "Creditors will want to see whether the reform measures put in place will allow Greece over the next few years to at least come close to some of those repayment obligations that obviously got the country into trouble in the first place." The conditions posed by Greece's international lenders are so tough they could bring down the Greek government. Alexis Tsipras had to finally accept a compromise on German-led demands for the sequestration of Greek assets - they'll be sold off to pay down debt. And he had to drop his resistance to the involvement of the International Monetary Find in a proposed 86 billion euro bailout. He'll also have to rush swathes of legislation through parliament by Wednesday before his 18 partners will release vital bridging funds. They include spending cut, tax hikes and pensions reforms - previous red lines for Tsipras. And all of it just to begin negotiations on a new three-year loan. He wanted an "honest compromise" instead he was humiliated, something last weekend's referendum was meant to prevent. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "We fought hard for six months, and battled to get an agreement to get the country back on its feet. We were faced with a very difficult decision and hard dilemmas. We made a responsible decision in order to avert the most extreme plans by conservative circles in the European Union." If the summit had failed Greece would be facing bankruptcy and a likely exit from the euro. Its banks have been closed for two weeks and limiting cash withdrawals. One EU official calculated the cost of the past two weeks at between 25 and 30 billion euros. That's almost a third of the new loan Greece is now seeking.

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Euro zone strikes deal with Greece

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 02:13