Greek Bailout Payment Approved; Eurozone Jobless Rate Stuck Near Record High

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LONDON (MarketWatch) — After tense weeks of negotiations, Germany in the end triumphed over Greece in the battle of the bailout.

Eurozone finance ministers late Friday collectively presented a deal to extend Greece’s rescue package by four months under certain conditions, but there has been little doubt it is Berlin that has dominated in pushing back against the ambitions in Athens.

In what is seen as rubbing in the victory, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Friday declared that “the Greeks certainly will have a difficult time to explain the deal to their voters.”

The comments came after Germany on Thursday — in a surprisingly public display of the bailout dispute — rebuffed Greece’s original loan proposal, crushing the Alexis Tsipras-led government’s dream that they could negotiate their way to a bridge loan and greater leniency on the bailout terms. The now-agreed four-month deal falls short of the six months Greece had requested on Thursday and also strengthens the hand of its international creditors in follow-up talks.

Read: Greece’s debt deal isn’t the end of eurozone drama

On Monday, Greece has to present a list of budget cuts and economic overhauls that will need to be implemented in order for Athens to receive the next €7.2 billion tranche of the €240 billion ($273 billion) bailout that has kept it afloat for almost five years. On Tuesday, Eurogroup finance ministers — including Germany — will review the proposal and potentially give the final go-ahead.

Although there have been flickering signs of growth coming out of Greece, it still lags behind far behind Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse in almost every economic metric, meaning it must rely on persuasion to press its case for getting less-stringent bailout terms.

As the immediate Greek crisis appears to be averted, here’s an economic look at the muscle Germany has been bringing to the table — compared with the dour situation at home compelling Greece’s leadership to harden its resolve.

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