European leaders announced agreement Monday on a plan to provide help to Greece. The announcement came after 17 hours of talks in Belgium over the weekend. Under the agreement, Greece would promise to enact difficult reforms in exchange for a huge amount of financial aid. But the deal is just the first step.
The agreement resulted from weeks of negotiations between Greece and the other 18 members of the Eurozone. All 19 countries belong to the European Union and use the euro as money.
Observers say the agreement is far from a done deal. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must now get his country’s parliament to approve new measures by Wednesday.
Several Eurozone members, including Germany, must seek parliamentary approval to start negotiations on a new assistance plan for Greece. Germany is Europe’s biggest economy. It also is one of the biggest skeptics of a new deal. German officials have expressed concern about a new rescue plan for Greece. But European leaders welcomed the agreement.
Donald Tusk is the president of the European Union.
“The decision gives Greece a chance to get back on track with the support of European parliaments. It also avoids the social, economic and political consequences that a negative outcome would have brought.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes Greek lawmakers will approve the conditions. She said that when approved, she would fully suggest that German lawmakers support the deal.
Ms. Merkel said there were a lot of supports which, if enacted, would lead the way for Greece to return to growth. But, in her words, it would be a long and difficult path.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may face difficulty as he seeks approval in his home country. The new demands come in return for a new three-year, $95 billion financial rescue plan for the Greek government.
Mr. Tsipras said his team had fought a difficult battle. But he had to make some decisions to avoid a worst result. Without an agreement, Greece risked bankruptcy and a possible ouster from the eurozone.
I’m Bob Doughty.
Lisa Bryant reported on this story from Paris. Triwik Kurniasari adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
enact – v. to make a bill become part of a law; to carry out
bailout – n. the act of saving or rescuing something (such as a business) from money problems
skeptic(s )– n. people who question something
lawmaker(s) – n. someone who make laws
bankruptcy – n. the condition of financial failure; unable to pay one’s debts