The Latest: Obama Says Greek Debt Deal a 'Positive Step'

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


8:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama has welcomed the agreement between Greece and its creditors.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House said Obama considered "the agreement a positive step that could help underpin a return to growth and debt stability in Greece" but noted that "further work will be required."

The statement followed Obama's telephone calls with French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Federica Mogherini, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the deal was in the best interests of Greece, Europe and the global economy.


7:15 p.m.

Greece's finance ministry says the draft bill needed to start talks on Greece's third bailout has been submitted to Parliament.

The bill will be discussed Wednesday and voted on later than night. It includes reforms to Greece's consumer tax.

The deal Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to after a marathon 17-hour eurozone summit on Monday has left him facing a backlash at home. Many in his radical left Syriza party have indicated they will refuse to vote for the deal because it goes back on election pledges to repeal austerity.

The bill is expected to pass with votes from opposition parties, who have said they will support it as it was the only way to ensure Greece remains in the euro currency.


3:55 p.m.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Union's euro commissioner, says the Greek crisis has symbolized the need for closer cooperation between the countries that use the single currency.

Dombrovskis says Tuesday that there's a big need to "strengthen the economic and monetary union."

However, he notes that the lack of European market turmoil during the Greek crisis shows that progress has been made over the past five years since the region's debt crisis first exploded.

Dombrovskis says the eurozone's integration efforts since then are having a "positive" effect.

"The eurozone is considered to be more robust to withstand shocks like this."


3:40 p.m.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says "it will be a challenge" to get Greece a quick loan it can use to avoid defaulting on a debt due next week, on July 20.

He says, however, that a loan needs to be found this week "if a dramatic situation is to be avoided on Monday."

Schaeuble suggested Tuesday that one solution could be to get the European Union's executive branch involved, possibly using funds from the EU budget.

Schaeuble said there's "nothing to prevent any country from voluntarily providing money to Greece for bridge financing."

He also dismissed suggestions that Greece will struggle to raise 50 billion euros from its own assets, including from privatizations, as part of the rescue deal.


3:35 p.m.

Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg's finance minister, says Europe showed progress in the months of discussions on Greece — which culminated in a 17-hour special summit of the 19 eurozone leaders.

Gramegna, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 28-country European Union, said Tuesday that the 19-country eurozone handled the Greek crisis in a more "efficient way" than it did five years ago when Greece's debt crisis first exploded.

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