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Eurozone leaders reach agreement on Greece

Eurozone leaders at a marathon emergency summit on Greece have reached an agreement.

The Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras leaving at the end of a special EU Euro Summit about the Greek crisis held at the EU Council building in Brussels on 23 June 2015. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says eurozone leaders at a marathon emergency summit on Greece have reached an agreement.

Eurozone leaders reached a unanimous agreement after all-night talks in Brussels to move forward with a bailout loan for Greece, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday.

"Euro summit has unanimously reached agreement. All ready to go for ESM programme for Greece with serious reforms and financial support," Tusk tweeted.

Agreement

However, the tough conditions imposed by international lenders led by Germany could bring down Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' leftist government and cause an outcry in Greece.

Even before the final terms were known, his labour minister went on state television to denounce the terms.

"We were able to keep the unity on keeping Greece inside the eurozone," Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on his Twitter account.

EU officials said Tsipras finally accepted a compromise on German-led demands for the sequestration of Greek state assets to be sold off to pay down debt.

The terms of the agreement were not immediately known.

The Greek leader also dropped resistance to a full role for the International Monetary Fund in a proposed €86 billion bailout, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared essential to win parliamentary backing in Berlin.

However, in a sign of how hard it may be for Tsipras to convince his own Syriza party to accept the deal, Labour Minister Panos Skourletis said the terms were unviable and would lead to new elections this year.

As the hours ticked away overnight, most of the leaders were forced to cool their heels, playing computer games or taking a nap in their delegation offices while Tusk and the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met several times privately to try to cut through the final knots.

Tsipras will now have to rush swathes of legislation through parliament this week to convince his 18 partners to release bridging funds to avert a state bankruptcy and just to begin negotiations on a three-year loan.

If the summit had failed, Greece would have be staring into an economic abyss with its shuttered banks on the brink of collapse and the prospect of having to print a parallel currency and in time exit the European monetary union.

Six sweeping measures including spending cuts, tax hikes and pension reforms must be enacted by Wednesday night and the entire package endorsed by parliament before talks can start, the leaders decided.

Eurozone leaders argued through the night with the near-bankrupt Greece about terms for a third bailout to keep the country in the eurozone.

The terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

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