Sat, Mar 21, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Greek PM agrees to new reform pledge to Europe

AFP, BRUSSELS

Greece yesterday agreed to give its creditors a new list of reforms to get its bailout back on track after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held crunch talks with European leaders.

They agreed to finish work “as fast as possible” on completing Greece’s EU-IMF rescue program, a statement said, to free up crucial funds to help Athens avoid bankruptcy and a catastrophic exit from the euro.

The radical left-wing Greek leader sat down for a three-hour meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and the EU’s top officials on the sidelines of a summit in Brussels.

“We have put the process back on track,” a tired-looking Tsipras told reporters after the talks.

Merkel — who as leader of Europe’s biggest economy has led efforts to make Greece honor its commitments — said she and Hollande were “fully in line” with the agreement.

“The Greek prime minister declared that he is willing to present such a list and that he will do so quickly,” she told a press conference.

Greece’s creditors agreed in February to extend its US$240 billion euro (US$255 billion) bailout in exchange for promises of austerity reforms by Tsipras’s new hard-left government.

Athens wants the final 7 billion euro tranche of the money to be paid out now to stay afloat, but Brussels wants more evidence of its commitment to the reforms.

Time was running out for Athens as yesterday brings a key debt deadline when Greece must pay 300 million euros to the IMF and redeem 1.6 billion euros in treasury bills.

“Greek authorities will have the ownership of the reforms and will present a full list of specific reforms in the next days,” the statement issued after the talks said.

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