Greece has agreed with its lenders on key labour reforms, spending cuts and energy issues, moving closer to clinching a deal before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on April 7, according to sources speaking to Reuters. Laura Frykberg reports.
Bailout deals between Greece and its lenders. Generally have the same glaring pattern. Months of negotiations end with Greece imposing more austerity, in exchange for more money. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "The leverage that Greece holds is actually very small and I think it's almost in too deep. It will continue to fight it will try to get some concessions. But as always I do think we will get an eleventh hour deal." Or perhaps even earlier. Sources telling Reuters that Greece has agreed to labour, spending and energy reforms. As requested by the IMF and Europe. It means the deal could be clinched before next month's euro zone finance ministers' meeting. And crucially, well ahead of an important day for Germany - and its politicians. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, GLOBAL HEAD FX STRATEGY, NAB, SAYING: "I don't think they will want greece to hanging over those elections. Better to get it out of the way early." The news sent Greek government bond yields to multi-week lows. Investors eyeing future strengths, instead of past weaknesses. SOUNDBITE (English) THINK MARKETS, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, NAEEM ASLAM, SAYING: "We have extended our business into Greek markets. Why is that? Because the risk to reward ratio is beautiful." With high unemployment, cutting pensions has long been objected to by Athens. This time it's thought they might make that concession. Sources telling Reuters, they'll cut spending on them by up to 1 percent of GDP by 2019.