Bailout talks move back to Athens
Discussions over Greece’s third bailout in five years are set to begin in Athens imminently after Greece’s parliament approved Thursday tough new conditions set by European creditors.
Officials in Athens and at the European Union said negotiators are expected to start arriving on Friday, marking the first time high- level talks will be held in the Greek capital since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing government assumed power in late January.
The news came hours after the Greek parliament approved a second round of reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors before the negotiations could start over a threeyear financial bailout expected to be worth $93 billion.
Without the money, Greece would be unable to pay the debts due over the coming three years and would likely be forced to leave the euro, Europe’s shared currency. Last week’s decision at a summit of the eurozone’s 19 leaders to open up bailout discussions provided certain conditions were met by Athens has helped ease the sense of economic crisis that was enveloping Greece.
Over the past week, parliament has approved two sets of creditor demands _ the first introduced sweeping sales tax increases, the second concerned judicial and banking reforms.
Despite facing a rebellion among his own party’s ranks in both votes, Tsipras’ coalition government has survived. He relied on opposition parties to push the measures through.