GREEKS BEAR­ING RIFTS SLAM DEAL

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

GREEK Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras faces an up­hill bat­tle in selling the mer­its of the Euro­pean Union’s latest € 86 bil­lion ($ A127 bil­lion) bailout pack­age, with politi­cians in his own Gov­ern­ment and the Greek peo­ple lam­bast­ing the deal.

Some MPs in his rad­i­cal left Syriza party called it a “hu­mil­i­a­tion for Greece” and the Gov­ern­ment’s ju­nior coali­tion part­ner has said it will refuse to back the plan, la­belling it a “coup”.

“The Prime Min­is­ter of this coun­try was faced with a coup staged by Ger­many and other coun­tries,” De­fence Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos, leader of the right- wing In­de­pen­dent Greeks party, said. “This deal in­tro­duced many new is­sues ... we can­not agree with it.”

It is a sig­nif­i­cant blow to Mr Tsipras’ hopes of pass­ing the nec­es­sary re­forms in par­lia­ment by to­day in or­der to se­cure the coun­try’s third bailout in five years.

The deal struck on Mon­day forces Athens to push through dra­co­nian re­forms. These in­clude sweep­ing changes to labour laws, pen­sions and taxes, plus a plan to park as­sets for pri­vati­sa­tion worth up to € 50 bil­lion in a spe­cial fund.

Public ser­vants have been urged to stage a 24- hour strike to­day in op­po­si­tion to the agree­ment.

It will be the first strike since Mr Tsipras took power six months ago on the back of prom­ises to end five years of bit­ter aus­ter­ity un­der two pre­vi­ous bailouts.

Be­fore com­ing to power, Syriza par­tic­i­pated in strikes and demon­stra­tions in 2010 and 2014014 against aus­ter­ity, which pre­vi­ous con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ments vot­edted for.

Every­dayd G Greeksk are al­sol an­gry at the pro­posed deal.

Har­alam­bos Rouliskos, a 60- year- old economist in Athens, de­scribed the deal as “mis­ery, hu­mil­i­a­tion and slav­ery”.

The eu­ro­zone cred­i­tors “are try­ing to black­mail us”, Ka­te­rina Katsaba, 52, said.

Yian­nis Silla, 45, echoed many other Greeks in claim-

i ing hi his coun­try was “set up” into join­ing the euro and then en­cour­aged to take out more and more loans.

“They gave us all this money, now the Ger­mans want to come into our land, the way bailiffs would come into your house, and take ev­ery­thing we own away,” he said. “They are crush­ing us.”

STRESSED: A man sits alone as protesters ( inset) demon­strate against aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

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