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Greece hopes its third bailout will be its last.


Eurozone finance ministers gave the green light on Friday to an €85 billion bailout for Greece, whose Parliament voted earlier in the day to accept the deal despite growing resistance within Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza party to the harsh terms.

Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, said the hard-won agreement on an €85 billion rescue package would send a “loud and clear” message that “Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the euro area.”

Greece and official creditors on Saturday concluded talks on the review of its bailout progress, reaching agreement on fiscal issues, energy and labor market reforms, bad loans and privatizations, the country’s finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said.

A deal between Greek officials and European Union and International Monetary Fund representatives on the country’s compliance with reforms and future commitments must be approved by euro zone finance ministers, scheduled to meet on Dec. 4.

“The institutions’ visit is completed, we closed the staff level agreement,” Tsakalotos told reporters. “We will present the agreement to Monday’s Eurogroup meeting.”

Once concluded, the review will release about five billion euros in loans from Greece’s 86 billion euro bailout program, its third since 2010.

Athens and its lenders had been exchanging drafts on agreed and proposed reforms for days. After seven years of austerity and rescue loans amounting to about 270 billion euros ($320 billion), Greece hopes its third bailout will be its last.

The government has been keen to swiftly conclude the review, which started in October, to begin talks on debt relief and the terms of the country’s exit from the bailout program which ends in August next year.

On Friday Greece’s energy minister finalized a deal with creditors on the coal-fired plants the country will sell to comply with an EU court ruling.

#EuropeanUnion #InternationalMonetaryFund #EuclidTsakalotos #Greece #ReutersStaff #AlexisTsipras

2017 Elira Bregu Los Angeles CA USA