Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a parliamentary session before a vote of tax and pension reforms in Athens, Greece, May 8, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis(reuters_tickers)
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece does not need to adopt further austerity measures beyond what was agreed in its bailout to qualify for new loans, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his cabinet on Tuesday, hailing the decision of a Eurogroup meeting.
Greece and its euro zone lenders reached an agreement on Monday which will pave the way for unlocking more than 5 billion euros that the crisis-hit country needs to cover debt repayments maturing in June and July and to pay off state arrears.
Tsipras said the agreement shows that Greece is no longer isolated, reflecting on a clash with lenders over austerity last year that nearly forced the country out of the euro zone.
"Greece is not alone and isolated any more. It enjoys the support of political forces and governments which have finally realised that this country and its people have the right to turn a page," Tsipras told his ministers.
Euro zone finance ministers also started talks on how to make Greece's debt servicing costs manageable, a move long desired by Greece.
The left-led government needs the debt relief badly to lure back investors, appease markets and convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off after six years of austerity.
"Greece is leaving behind six years of recession and darkness," Tsipras said. "I want to repeat, this is not the right time for celebrations."
(Writing Renee Maltezou; Editing by Angus MacSwan)