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Greece agrees bailout deal, but for how long?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:41

Greeks say they're fed up and angry with constant reforms after Athens and its international lenders agreed in a Eurogroup meeting to work out the next set of measures for the country. Ivor Bennett reports.

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The Greek people have seen their fair share of bailout deals. Both they and the papers say the latest is no different. A high price, this headline predicts, for the return of the troika. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) TRAVEL AGENT, SPIROS NIKOLAKAKIS, SAYING: "Of course they will come with a cost, there is no way they won't." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER, DIMITRIS, SAYING: "Lies, so many lies, they lie all the time." Greece and its creditors were keen to present the positives. New fiscally neutral reforms in return for cheaper loans. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP CHIEF AND DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "There will be a change in the policy mix if you will, moving perhaps away from austerity and putting more emphasis on deep reforms, which has also been a key element for the IMF." But there are still areas of tension too. Namely Germany's demand for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN DIMITRIS TZANAKOPOULOS, SAYING: "It is obvious that after the progress we achieved at yesterday's Eurogroup, with all sides backing down, it is now time for Germany also to head down the road of realism." The new agreement avoids a specific savings target. But officials know that and the issue of debt relief will have to be dealt with before Greece's next payment in July. SOUNDBITE (English) TOM STEVENSON, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, SAYING: "The IMF believes that Greece needs some form of debt relief. And that's really still anathema, particularly in Germany. So I think the two sides still remain some way apart on that crucial issue." It's hoped that might change on Wednesday when Angela Merkel meets IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Their agreement to disagree can only last so long.

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Greece agrees bailout deal, but for how long?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:41