The Latest: US Treasury Chief: Make Greek Debts Manageable

Alexis Tsipras

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


11:45 p.m.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is urging Greece's creditors to make sure the struggling country emerges from negotiations with debts it can manage.

The International Monetary Fund has already labeled Greece's debts unsustainable and called for generous debt relief.

Lew met Thursday with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble in Berlin and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin in Paris. He expressed support for the Greek debt deal, saying it restores trust between Greece and its creditors and could help keep Greece in the common euro currency.

Lew, in telephone calls with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, urged the Greeks to "fully" implement the budget cuts and economic reforms they had agreed to.


11 p.m.

The head of euro-region finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is seeking to ease concerns over a new financing deal for Greece.

Dijsselbloem said European Union members not using the shared euro currency would be given guarantees for contributing to a bridging loan for Greece. The move follows strong objections raised by Britain toward helping bail out a eurozone member.

The EU has 28 nations but only 19 of them, including Greece, use the euro. Greece got a bridge loan so it can make a 4.2 billion-euro ($4.6 billion) payment to the European Central Bank on Monday.

Dijsselbloem, who was meeting in Berlin with German lawmakers late Thursday, also shot down talk of continued support for a Greek euro exit by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

He said: "If you reach an agreement after such long and hard talks, you have to stand behind it. And that goes for all sides."


9:55 p.m.

Greece's government says the country's banks will reopen Monday after being closed for three weeks but cautioned that restrictions on withdrawals would only be lifted gradually. Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas made in the announcement Thursday evening on state-run ERT television.

Banks were closed June 29 to stop mass cash withdrawals from triggering their collapse. The decision to reopen them was announced hours after the European Central Bank increased its emergency cash support to Greek lenders. Mardas said banks would likely to switch to a more relaxed weekly limit after reopening, instead of imposing a daily ATM withdrawal cap. Greeks now can only take out 60 euros ($67) a day.  


8:00 p.m.

Britain's Treasury chief says the country has agreed to allow emergency funding for Greece through an EU bailout fund after receiving guarantees for protections for the U.K.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had earlier announced that the European Union had agreed on a short-term loan to help Greece cover its debts until mid-August.

Britain had been reluctant to allow the use of an EU fund for what it considers to be an issue of the smaller 19-country eurozone. Britain is not in the eurozone.

George Osborne says Thursday that no taxpayer money will be at risk as Britain and other non-euro states received "protections" for their contributions to the EU fund.

He said: "These have been tough talks, but the agreement announced this evening means an impregnable ring-fence around British taxpayers' money, which will not be at risk in any way in this emergency financing for Greece."

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