Greece has turned a page, says gov’t official

The government welcomed an agreement by eurozone finance ministers in Brussels late on Friday to extend Greece’s financial rescue by four months, saying it would give the newly-installed administration time to negotiate a new deal.

“Greece has turned a page,” said an official that wished to remain unidentified, adding that attempts to blackmail the SYRIZA-led government over the past few days had fallen through.

The same source said that Athens had succeeded in averting the recessionary measures agreed by the previous conservative-led administration as well as a commitment for “extravagant primary surpluses.”

Friday’s agreement in Brussels also spelled the end of the so-called “troika” and its enhanced powers, the official said.

The official added that the SYRIZA-led government will unveil reforms for the interim period, giving priority to those where there is common ground with other eurozone members – “meaning curbing tax evasion and corruption, public sector reform and dealing with the humanitarian crisis.”

The agreement was met with skepticism from the Greek Communist Party (KKE) which said that it was more of the same stuff.

Speaking in Livadia, north of Attica, the party’s secretary general, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, said that regardless of what it will be called, the deal is in fact “a prolongation of the loan agreement – that is an extension of the memorandum.”

“Ultimately the bill will be footed by the people, as it happened with all previous governments,” he said.