Greek gov’t hails Eurogroup deal, rules out snap polls


A Greek government spokesman has ruled out early elections in the wake of a “very positive” deal reached with the country’s creditors in Luxembourg Thursday.

“The decision reached at yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting is a very positive decision which gives the Greek side what it wanted and the ability to safely navigate toward the completion of the program,” Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Friday, adding that Athens had won “clear commitments” on debt and economic growth.

“Our aim… is to complete the program, to make Greece stand on its own feet, to increase our degree of economic freedom and to rid ourselves of strict supervision,” Tzanakopoulos said.

“This is the political aim we are working on,” he said.

The spokesman said the left-led government had two good years ahead in its efforts to restore the country’s image.

“Elections will take place in the autumn of 2019,” he said.

After months of haggling that raised fears of another escalation in Greece’s near 8-year debt crisis, the 19-country eurozone on Thursday cleared the release of a further 8.5 billion euros ($9.5 billion).

In addition, the Eurogroup made clear that it is ready to ease the burden of Greece’s debt repayments at the conclusion of the current bailout program next year.

The deal also outlined the participation of the International Monetary Fund in Greece’s third bailout with IMF chief Christine Lagarde saying she would formally recommend the IMF’s participation with 2 billion dollars on a standby basis.