(MENAFN – The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced a growing wave of hostility from members of his own party on July 15 just hours before a vote in parliament on an austerity bill that is required for Greece to receive a new bailout package.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has questioned whether a new programme will succeed, although the creditors’ offer to Athens includes the conditions for more austerity and economic reform that Berlin had demanded.
Greece desperately needs the funding by Monday, when a EUR4.2 billion payment to the European Central Bank comes due, and to clear some EUR2 billion in arrears to the global Monetary Fund.
“The Eurogroup welcomes the adoption by the Greek Parliament of all the commitments specified in the Euro Summit statement” reached in marathon talks last weekend, the eurozone’s finance ministers said.
Thirty-eight party lawmakers defied Tsipras – almost one-in-four – including Tsipras’ powerful energy minister, the speaker of parliament, and Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister who headed Greece’s bailout strategy until his replacement 10 days ago.
Tsipras agree to austerity measures that his left-wing government had long battled against in return for the start of negotiations on a third bailout program worth about 85 billion euros (93.5 billion) in loans during the next three years. We are certain to encounter problems in the years to come.
The vote, vital to unlocking emergency financing from European partners as early as Thursday, left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras weakened by a revolt in his leftist Syriza party but clinging to power for now. “They should have controlled the situation and avoided bailouts, because we are the ones that have to pay for it now”.
“As you know the Greek economy is back in recession, the banking system is on the verge of collapse and the Greek state is building up outstanding payments”.
A few EU countries that don’t use the euro, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic, have voiced objections to the fund’s use because it is backed by the broader European Union budget, arguing their taxpayers shouldn’t shoulder the cost of yet another loan.
The alternative to an agreement, she added, “would not be a time-out from the euro that would be orderly… but predictable chaos”.
Valdis Dombrovskis who is the European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, says what is needed now is stability in Greece. “I think we should focus on this point in the coming weeks”. Valavani had announced her resignation immediately before the vote. Greeks also voted to reject milder creditor reform proposals in a hastily called referendum July 5. Separately, the euro area’s finance ministries took the next step in approving the country’s main bailout of as much as 86 billion euros after national parliaments gave the go-ahead.
Finland’s Parliament on Thursday approved providing an EU-wide loan to Greece to meet short-term obligations and asked to government to commence talks over a third bailout for the country. John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels.