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Economy

Hollande praises 'courageous' Tsipras after Greek debt deal agreed

media France's President Francois Hollande talks to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) next to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Parliament President Martin Schulz (L) on Monday Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a "very courageous choice" in accepting European conditions for negotitions for a new bailout for his country, French President François Hollande said Monday after the announcement of agreement following 17 hours of talks. The French parliament will vote on the deal on Wednesday, he said.

France's relationship with Germany was "highly necessary" to find a "compromise" on Greece's bailout, Hollande said, following reports of divisions between the two countries over Berlin's tough stance.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Before the deal was announced Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressed his "pride at being at François Hollande's side", claiming that he had prevented Greece leaving the eurozone.

"Agreement! Historic moment. Greece is Europe. France played its role right up to the end," he tweeted when the announcement came through.

The Greek government was asked to accept labour reform, pension cuts, tax rises and privatisation, although a proposal that a privatisation fund be managed from outside the country was apparently dropped.

The Greek parliament has still to accept the deal and it must also go to other national parliaments before new talks on the bailout.

"We fought a righteous battle to the end," Tsipras said in Brussels.

"The road will be long, and judging by the negotiations tonight, difficult," Merkel said.

French far-right leader Florian Philippot denounced the deal as the "enslavement" if not the "murder" of the Greek people on Monday and complained that the French people will have to contribute 20 billion euros to the bailout.

 

 

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