Greece gets its deal
Avoids financial collapse and euro exit
After grueling, often angry negotiations that tested the limits of European unity, Greece on Monday won a preliminary deal that averts financial catastrophe but also guarantees years more of hardship and sacrifice for its people.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras flew home to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers and political allies, some of whom accused him of putting Greece at the mercy of its foreign creditors.
To close the deal with its partners in the euro currency, Greece had to consent to a raft of austerity measures, including sales tax hikes and reforms to pensions and the labour market.
Enough of Greece’s 18 eurozone partners were openly suspicious of its sincerity that they demanded, and got, Tsipras’s commitment to accept close international oversight.
For the Greek leader and his radical left-wing government, which since election in January had vowed to stand up to the creditors, the payoff of the marathon negotiations in Brussels was clear: about 85 billion euros ($95.07 billion) in loans and financial support over three years, preserving Greek membership in the euro, and helping their country stave off financial collapse.
“We managed to avoid the most extreme measures,” Tsipras said after the summit.
Tsipras said he successfully got creditors to drop a demand that Greek assets be transferred abroad as a form of collateral, and that the deal reached was less harsh than proposals from creditors his country’s voters rejected a week ago.
A bank employee distributes tag queue positions to elderly people to enter into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in central Athens Monday.