Eurogroup approves launch of talks on three-year ESM bailout for Greece

In a conference call session on Thursday, Eurogroup finance ministers approved the launch of talks on a three-year bailout for Greece from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

"...we reached today a decision to grant in principle a three-year ESM stability support to Greece, subject to the completion of relevant national procedures," a Eurogroup statement said, welcoming the adoption by the Greek Parliament of a raft of austerity measures and prior actions demanded by Greece's EU partners as a "show of good faith" in a post-midnight vote held early on Thursday morning.

Eurozone finance ministers said their decision was based on a "positive assessment" by the institutions that Greece had promptly met demands and included the July 12 Euro Summit statement in the preamble to the implementing law.

It said that talks on negotiating a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece will begin once the bailout once "relevant national procedures" are complete and a formal decision made by the ESM board of governors.

"The Eurogroup calls on the Greek authorities to swiftly adopt the second set of measures by 22 July as foreseen in the Euro Summit statement, and update the legislation related to the first set of measures consistent with the recommendations made by the institutions in their compliance report," the statement concluded.

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