Germany's Merkel welcomes Greek bailout agreement but says a lot of work still ahead

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is welcoming an agreement on a four-month extension to Greece's financial bailout but says "a lot of work" remains ahead.

Merkel said Wednesday she is glad Greece's eurozone partners have "found a starting point for negotiations with the new government."

She said: "I welcome the fact that we were able to assert the principle of 'quid pro quo' again, also with the Greek proposals that arrived yesterday."

Key creditor Germany has insisted that aid must come with strings attached, and other European countries have provisionally backed a list of reforms proposed by Athens. Germany's Parliament is expected to give its approval on Friday.

Merkel said that "we must continue along this road" but it "will of course remain challenging, I have no illusions about that."