France's Hollande says Greek bailout extension 'good compromise'

PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Saturday described as a "good compromise" the agreement between Brussels and debt-racked Greece for a four-month extension of its bailout.

Eurozone finance ministers reached the hard-won deal in Brussels on Friday during tense talks pitting Greece against an angry Germany, suspicious that the new radical leftist government in Athens was looking to ditch its austerity obligations.

"It is a good compromise that has been found both for Europe and for Greece," Mr Hollande told reporters on the sidelines of an agricultural fair in Paris on Saturday.

The deal is a tough climbdown for popular Greek premier Alexis Tsipras, who swept to power in January on a pledge to tear up Greek's hated bailout programme, and he will now have to persuade Greeks that it is the best deal possible.

But Mr Hollande said he was confident that the agreement had been the best outcome.

"The right solution is to extend the finance allowing Greece to ensure its transition and honour its commitments," he said.

"The right solution is also to give Greece the time it needs to launch its reforms while retaining the confidence of Greek voters," he added.

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