The Latest: Eurogroup Makes No Mention of Greek Bridge Loan

The latest on Greece's financial crisis (all times local):


4:15 p.m.

In its statement saying it had made the decision to start 'in principle' talks on a three-year bailout of Greece, the eurogroup of finance ministers made no mention of any short-term bridge loan to the cash-strapped country.

Greece doesn't have the money to make a 4.2 billion-euro ($4.6 billion) payment to make to the European Central Bank on Monday.

European authorities, including the eurogroup, are working out how to get it some short-term cash to make that payment and avoid a default. How to get Athens the money is proving difficult.

The eurogroup said bailout talks could begin in the wake of the Greek parliament's decision to back a raft of austerity measures early Thursday.

Still, a few hurdles need to be cleared including parliamentary votes elsewhere in the eurozone. Greece also has to adopt a second set of measures on July 22.


4:05 p.m.

Greece got a double dose of good news Thursday when the European Central Bank decided to raise the amount of emergency liquidity available to Greek banks and the country's creditors in the 19-country eurozone formally said bailout discussions could begin.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said at a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany that emergency credit to Greek banks has been raised by 900 million euros ($980 million) over one week. Greek banks have been closed since June 29 after the ECB opted against raising the credit it makes available.

Separately, the eurogroup of finance ministers said it had made the decision to start discussions on a three-year bailout of Greece from Europe's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism. The decision comes after the Greek Parliament's overnight passing of austerity measures but is subject to other parliamentary votes required in Europe.


3:00 p.m.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberal Party is reserving judgment on the bailout deal intended to save Greece from bankruptcy and a messy exit from the euro single currency.

Rutte conceded after the deal was struck in Brussels Monday that if implemented, any bailout will mean he will have broken an electoral promise to send no more money to Athens.

Mark Harbers of the Liberal Party deflected criticism of the broken pledge by telling lawmakers in a debate Thursday that he can only give an opinion on the deal once all details have been pinned down by eurozone negotiators and Greece.

The Dutch parliament does not have to vote to approve the deal.

Junior Dutch coalition partner the Labor Party welcomed the agreement as a key show of solidarity in a Europe beset by crises at its borders.


2:45 p.m.

The European Central Bank will shortly face questions on when it can help Greece's banks reopen in a news conference, following its decision to keep interest rates unchanged.

ECB President Mario Draghi will chair Thursday's news conference after the bank decided to leave its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.05 percent.

As well as commenting on the broad economic situation, Draghi will likely be quizzed over when the ECB will increase emergency credit to Greek banks. It capped the amount on offer over two weeks ago, a move that forced Greek banks to close as they were unable to meet demands for withdrawals by fearful depositors.

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