GREEKS BEARING RIFTS SLAM DEAL
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.