Greece and its international lenders have clinched a multi-billion-euro bailout deal after another night of marathon talks. But as Ivor Bennett reports, there are fears it could just be a short-term solution to meet the next debt repayment as doubts remain over the long-term health of the Greek economy.
Exhausted and weary, it looked like Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos may even lack the energy to make it out the door. But after 23 hours of talks, Athens and its creditors may finally have a deal. Well, sort of... (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) FINANCE MINISTER, EUCLID TSAKALOTOS, SAYING: "Yes, there are one or two small issues, but we are almost there." The main sticking points at least have all been overcome. Non-performing loans, the introduction of a new privatisation fund and crucially fiscal targets With creditors not expecting a Greek budget surplus until 2016. European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESWOMAN, ANNIKA BREIDTHARDT, SAYING: "What we have at the moment is a technical level agreement reached by the staff of the institutions and the Greek authorities on the ground following the weeks of negotiations. What we don't have at the moment is a political agreement and that's what we would need." The deal still needs to be passed by the Greek parliament, and euro zone finance ministers. But if so, it relieves Athens' most pressing burden. A 3.2 billion euro debt repayment to the ECB in less than 10 days. The worry is though, the deal was rushed for that reason. CMC Markets' Jasper Lawler. SOUNDBITE (English) JASPER LAWLER, MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "I think that's probably one of the biggest risks. That this is a bit short-termist. The creditors and Greece want to get away from the turmoil that went into Greece failing to pay the IMF. But I think at the moment, while it doesn't have any debt haircut involved, it's just more of the same, and it's almost destined to failure." For the Greek markets though, it seems any deal is better than none. The banking index surging 6 percent on news of the agreement.