Lew hails Greek deal as 'important step forward'

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewRussian sanctions will boomerang Obama talks up Warren behind closed doors to wealthy donors On The Money: Lawmakers pile on the spending in .4T deal | Trump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives | Trump, Boris Johnson discuss 'ambitious' free-trade agreement MORE hailed a new agreement to keep Greece in the eurozone as a critical step forward.

In a statement issued Monday, Lew called the new arrangement “a basis for restoring trust” between Greece and its creditors but emphasized that more work still needs to be done.

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“These pledges will require difficult steps by all of the parties and substantial work remains to be done,” he said. “The United States will remain engaged with all parties in this important period.”

European negotiators announced Monday morning that they had struck a last-minute deal with Greece that could help the ailing nation with its debt load while keeping the country from abandoning the euro as currency.

Under the initial terms of the deal, Greece could receive billions of dollars in fresh bailout funds, in exchange for adopting harsh austerity measures aimed at getting the nation back on a more sustainable fiscal track.

Greece had been struggling to keep up with its debt obligations and was in danger of defaulting on its debt and potentially reverting back to the drachma as its currency in an unprecedented move.

U.S. officials were confident the U.S. would not be directly hit by a Greek economic catastrophe but were concerned that the drama could spill over into financial markets, which could be felt back home. But news of the new arrangement sent stocks upward Monday morning.

But Lew said the latest deal shows that both parties are willing to do what it takes to find a way to keep Greece in the eurozone, which he said was in the best interests for all involved.

“It underscores Greece’s commitment to make deep and difficult fiscal and structural reforms, and reflects a commitment by its creditors to provide financial support and help create a path for Greece to return to growth, and achieve debt sustainability,” he said.

Lew added that the U.S. will “remain engaged” with all parties as the terms are implemented.