Euro ministers give blessing to Greek bailout, wooing IMF on debt

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Greece Votes YES to Rescue Package

Finance ministers from the euro zone gave their final blessing to lending Greece up to 86 billion euros ($95.5 billion) after the parliament in Athens agreed to stiff conditions overnight.

After six hours of talks in Brussels, ministers said in a statement: "The Eurogroup considers that the necessary elements are now in place to launch the relevant national procedures required for the approval of the ESM financial assistance."

Assuming final approval next week by the German and some other national parliaments, an initial tranche of 26 billion euros would be approved by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) next Wednesday.

Of that, 10 billion euros would be reserved to recapitalize Greek banks ravaged by economic turmoil and the imposition of capital controls in June, and 13 billion euros would be in Athens on Thursday to meet pressing debt payment obligations.

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Some issues still need to be ironed out following a deal struck with Greece on Tuesday by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

They include keeping the IMF involved in overseeing the new euro zone program while delaying satisfying the Fund's calls for debt relief for Greece until a review in October.

Click through to see photos of Greece post-bailout:

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Greece after the referendum
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Euro ministers give blessing to Greek bailout, wooing IMF on debt
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 13: Pensioners talk to bank staff as they wait to collect their pensions outside a National Bank of Greece branch in Kotzia Square on July 13, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Eurozone leaders have reportedly made an 'agreement' on the Greek debt crisis in Brussels. After lengthy talks EU President Donald Tusk tweeted that a bailout programme was 'all ready to go'. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold a poster against the austerity policy of Germany prior to a special session of the parliament Bundestag on negotiations with Greece for a new bailout in Berlin, Germany, Friday, July 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A woman burns the flag of the ruling party Syriza, surrounded by journalists, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, during an anti-EU demonstration in Athens calling for a no to any agreement with the creditors on July 13 , 2015. Eurozone leaders struck a deal on a bailout to prevent debt-stricken Greece from crashing out of the euro forcing Athens to push through draconian reforms in a matter of days. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Leftist protester holds a greek flag in front of the Greek parliament as they take part an anti-EU demonstration in Athens calling for a 'NO' to any agreement with the creditors on July 13, 2015. Eurozone leaders struck a deal Monday on a bailout to prevent debt-stricken Greece from crashing out of the euro, forcing Athens to push through draconian reforms in a matter of days. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
People read newspaper headlines in central Athens on July 13, 2015. Greece reached a desperately-needed bailout deal with the eurozone on July 13 after marathon overnight talks, in a historic agreement to prevent the country crashing out of the European single currency. The country's leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to tough reforms after 17 hours of gruelling negotiations in return for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($96 billion), Greece's third rescue programme in five years. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A elderly man In a wheelchair waits with other pensioners outside a national bank branch to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in central Athens, Monday, July 13, 2015. A Eurozone summit has reached a tentative agreement with Athens on a bailout program that includes “serious reforms” and aid, removing an immediate threat of financial collapse in Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A bank employee distributes tag queue positions to elderly people to enter into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in central Athens, Monday, July 13, 2015. A Eurozone summit has reached a tentative agreement with Athens on a bailout program that includes “serious reforms” and aid, removing an immediate threat of financial collapse in Greece. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Pensioners wait outside the main gate of the national bank of Greece to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in central Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015. With a deadline just hours away to come up with a detailed economic reform plan, Greece requested a new three-year rescue from its European partners Wednesday as signs grew its economy was sliding toward free-fall without an urgently needed bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man passes in front of "NO" referendum posters in central Athens, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Greece has another chance Sunday to convince skeptical European creditors that it can be trusted to enact wide-ranging economic reforms which would safeguard its future in the common euro currency. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A presidential guard, right, stands guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier as riot police officers guard one of the entrances to the parliament during a demonstration of supporters of the no vote in central Athens, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Greece has another chance Sunday to convince skeptical European creditors that it can be trusted to enact wide-ranging economic reforms which would safeguard its future in the common euro currency. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man holds a tag queue position as he waits next to others pensioners outside the main gate of the national bank of Greece to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in central Athens, Friday, July 10, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will seek backing for a harsh new austerity package from his party Friday to keep his country in the euro — less than a week after urging Greeks to reject milder cuts in a referendum. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A pro-Euro demonstrator is seen behind a European Union flag during a rally in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Hopes that Greece can get a rescue deal that will prevent a catastrophic exit from the euro rose on Thursday, after key creditors said they were open to discussing how to ease the country's debt load, a long-time sticking point in their talks. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Pensioners wait outside the main gate of the national bank of Greece to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in central Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015. With a deadline just hours away to come up with a detailed economic reform plan, Greece requested a new three-year rescue from its European partners Wednesday as signs grew its economy was sliding toward free-fall without an urgently needed bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A pensioner leans against the main gate of the national bank of Greece as he waits to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens in central Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Greek soldiers leave the ancient Acropolis hill, after they raised the Greek flag, in Athens, on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was heading Tuesday to Brussels for an emergency meeting of euro zone leaders, where he will try to use a resounding referendum victory to eke out concessions from European creditors over a bailout for the crisis-ridden country. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
In this photo taken on Saturday, July 11, 2015, Mary Cromba, left, owner of a beachside restaurant is seen with her employees, as she prepares to add paper in the cashier machine in the village of Psatha about 65km (40 miles) west of Athens. The meal sales tax clause in the bailout proposal considered Sunday by European leaders would boost it from 13 percent to 23 percent, while hotels would see room sales taxes rise from 6.5 percent to 13 percent. (AP Photo/Spyros Tsakiris)
A butcher makes calculations inside his shop in central Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Pensioners wait outside the main gate of the national bank of Greece to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in central Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015. With a deadline just hours away to come up with a detailed economic reform plan, Greece requested a new three-year rescue from its European partners Wednesday as signs grew its economy was sliding toward free-fall without an urgently needed bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man stands-in front of a discount shop that reads in Greek " you give a little you take a lot" in Athens, on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was heading Tuesday to Brussels for an emergency meeting of eurozone leaders, where he will try to use a resounding referendum victory to eke out concessions from European creditors over a bailout for the crisis-ridden country. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A man sells items in central Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A woman pays at a market in central Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Red spray paint covers a French-language Bank of Greece sign to read 'Bank of Merkel' in reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned Monday, saying he was told shortly after Greece's decisive referendum result that some other eurozone finance ministers and the country's other creditors would appreciate his not attending the ministers' meetings. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
A homeless sleeps at the entrance of a closed store with posters reading ''No'' in central Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Homeless sleep on the ground in central Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s finance minister has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Needy people pray before eating at the Church-run Galini charity's soup kitchen in central Athens on Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s finance minister has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A construction worker carries a wooden plank near a board with the Greek flag that reads in Portuguese: "I love you Greece, because of the courage against the imperialism!", in Lisbon, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday's referendum in which the majority of voters said "no" to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. The board also reads in Greek: "No", in reference to Sunday's referendum. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Needy people eat at the Church-run Galini charity's soup kitchen in central Athens on Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s finance minister has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A pensioner holds a tag queue position as he lines up before entering into a bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A bank employee distributes tag queue positions to elderly people to enter into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People wait to enter into the national bank of Greece in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s finance minister has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A bank employee speaks to elderly people before allowing them to enter into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Elderly people argue with a bank worker as they wait to be allowed into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sunday’s referendum in which the majority of voters said “no” to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who took part in the meeting by telephone, said in a statement that the Fund believed Europe would need to provide "significant" debt relief as a complement to reforms Athens is taking to put Greece's finances on a sustainable path.

"I remain firmly of the view that Greece's debt has become unsustainable and that Greececannot restore debt sustainability solely through actions on its own," she said.

She also made clear she could give no commitment before approval by the IMF board in October, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters.

He said he was optimistic of IMF involvement but that it would be conditional on the board seeing more detail on Greek reforms after a first review of implementation of the program and an assessment that Greece's public debt was sustainable.

After debating all night, the Greek parliament gave its backing to leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, though he had to rely on opposition votes after nearly a third of his own supporters rebelled, forcing him to consider a confidence vote that could pave the way for early elections.

After defeating conservatives in January, Tsipras remains hugely popular for standing up to Germany's insistence on austerity before capitulating to new bailout terms under the threat of a euro zone exit. He would be expected to win again if snap polls were held now, given an opposition in disarray.

The Washington-based IMF, which has lent to Greece itself and played a role in supervising the implementation of two previous bailouts worth a total of 240 billion euros, has urged the other 18 states of the euro zone to give Athens debt relief in order to help revive its crippled economy.

Many euro zone governments have ruled out any "haircut" on the nominal amount of debt - something against current euro zone rules - and have questioned the IMF assessment of how much relief Greece needs, saying it is too pessimistic.

However, the bloc is keen to have the IMF, whose imprimatur is prized in financial markets, closely involved in managing the Greek program. Dijsselbloem said lenders would have a debate on debt sustainability in October and indicated that differences between the IMF and euro zone on the issue were narrowing.

The euro zone has agreed to look at easing terms, such as by lengthening repayment deadlines, once a first review of Greek compliance with conditions is completed in October. The IMF, though, has made clear it sees debt relief as essential for giving the Greekeconomy the means to service the new loans.

Under the last, canceled, program, Greece was due to receive 16 billion euros from the Fund and euro zone states hope for a similar sum.

CATCH 22

"There's a bit of a Catch 22 that we need to solve," said Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb, whose government was among those most ready to favor a Greek exit from the euro before a last-minute deal struck by EU leaders a month ago.

"The IMF wants to be involved only if there is debt relief; we want the IMF to be involved but we don't want debt relief. Some kind of solution will have to be found."

"The IMF is on board as concerns program conditionality," said Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission's vice president for the euro. "We know that IMF has its own program, but we do not expect a formal decision on this today."

On Thursday, Delia Velculescu said after leading the IMF team at negotiations in Athens that the lender would wait for further steps from Greece and for decisions on debt relief before deciding whether to extend financial help.

"The IMF will remain closely engaged with the Greek government and the European partners to assist in this process, and will make an assessment of its participation in providing any additional financing to Greece once the steps on the authorities' program and debt relief have been taken."

Creditors estimate that, overall, Greek banks will need 25 billion euros in fresh capital soon.

"We're going to talk about political trust," Dijsselbloem said earlier in the day. "That's still a factor of course with Greece: can we trust that it's actually going to happen?

"If it appears that in reality nothing is happening then the program will be halted again very quickly."

(Additional reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, Tom Koerkemeier, Barbara Lewis, Alexander Saeedy, Julia Fioretti and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels, Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Deepa Babington, Karolina Tagaris, Michele Kambas and George Georgiopoulos in Athens, and Tim Ahmann in Washington; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Giles Elgood and John Stonestreet)



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