Euro zone bailout fund decides to open third bailout talks for Greece

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GERMANY-GREECE German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Bundestag, the German lower house of parliament in Berlin on July 17, 2015. German lawmakers will vote during todays sitting in the Bundestag on entering into negotiations on the new aid package for Greece. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday the Eurogroup agreed to launch negotiations on a three-year bailout programme with Greece.

Greece’s euro zone partners have agreed in principles to start negotiations with Greece on a European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout and has secured bridge financing of 7.16 billion euros ($7.77 billion), Dombrovskis said.

“Eurogroup reached an agreement in principle to launch negotiations on a new ESM programme. National procedures are expected to confirm this decision,” he said.

“We have an agreement on the bridge financing for Greece based on the ESM loan. This agreement backed by 28 European Union member states prevents Greece from an immediate default. It means that 7.6 billion euros will reach Greece on time by Monday.”

He added that debt restructuring would be a feature of the negotiations.

Greece has to redeem government bonds held by the European Central Bank on July 20 and also in mid-August.

Reuters