Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU Commission’s vice president for the euro, said the 28-country bloc has approved 7.16 billion euros (£5 billion) of bridge financing for Greece and that the money will come from funds in the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism. Of the 149 Syriza lawmakers, six abstained from the vote held on Wednesday night, while one person did not show up at all.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Bundestag, the German lower house of parliament in Berlin on July 17, 2015. The government said banks would stay shut through Sunday. The effect is to push newly created money into the financial system.
The new decision will give some breathing space to Greek banks, which have been closed and under capital controls since the referendum announcement.
Speaking at a press conference in Frankfurt, ECB chief Mario Draghi announced that the bank will increase the level of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) by €900 million over one week.
“We are a step further”, Schaeuble told Deutschlandfunk radio after the Greek parliament voted to approve the entire package demanded by European partners.
Finnish and Lithuanian lawmakers on Thursday gave their approval to begin negotiations. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit.
Schaeuble – who says he personally thinks a Grexit would be best for the country – nonetheless urged his party-members to vote “Yes”, vowing: “We will do everything in our power to make this last attempt a success”.
European finance ministers said after a conference call on Thursday morning they agreed “in principle” to start talks with Greece on the new bailout and called on Athens to adopt a second set of reforms by July 22.
The loan is expected to be confirmed on Friday by all European Union member states.
There’s political agreement on the bridge loan “so I wouldn’t expect any surprises”, Dombrovskis said.
Tsipras told lawmakers he had accepted a package he did not believe in and which would harm Greece, but the alternative was a disorderly bankruptcy that would be catastrophic. But the large majority was provided by pro-European opposition parties and in spite of deepening dissent within Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party.
German conservatives have accused Tsipras of blackmail for saying other weaker euro zone countries would slide into crisis if Greece were forced out of the euro.
In Athens, cleaners removed overnight the debris of a pitched battle on Syntagma Square outside parliament between black-masked anti-bailout militants and riot police.
“Helping the euro lower is Greece’s situation clearing for now”, said John Hardy, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark.
Equally, “bending the rules until they’re worthless” was not an option, she said, arguing that for Europe this “would mean the end of a community bound by legal rules, and we wouldn’t agree to that”.