Extension of Greece’s bailout programme will not include austerity

Eurozone finance ministers have reportedly agreed on a four-month extension of Greece's bailout programme that will not include austerity measures 

Eurozone finance ministers have agreed on a four-month extension of Greece’s bailout programme that will not include austerity measures, according to Mega TV.

The update comes as finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss a draft agreement between Greece and its eurozone creditors.

The Greek TV station also reported that Greece will commit itself to not making any unilateral moves, such as raising the minimum wage or protecting primary homes from foreclosure.

According to Reuters, the agreement also insists that Greece submit a letter by Monday outlining the measures it plans to take to crack down on tax evasion and corruption, to reform Greece's public administartion and to tackle Greece's humanitarian crisis. 

Germany had rejected Greece’s original proposal for a six-month extension of its bailout programme on the basis that it did not commit them to stick to the conditions of its international bailout.

The negotiations were delayed by four hours to allow for last-minute negotiations between Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble, brokered by International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who heads the Eurogroup.

Greece’s existing bailout deal is due to expire at the end of February, meaning that it could run out of money if a deal isn’t reached.

EU President Donald Tusk has rejected Greece’s request for a further Eurozone summit on Sunday, if a deal isn’t concluded today. However, Reuters reported that Tusk is willing to convene a summit in due course if necessary.

 “The Greek government has not just gone the extra mile, but the extra 10 miles, and now we are expecting our partners not to meet us halfway, but a fifth of the way,” Varoufakis said ahead of the meeting. “Hopefully at the end of this, we come out with some white smoke.”

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was elected as Greek Prime Minister in late January on a platform of rejecting the austerity measures tied to its bailout deal.

More in World