Bailout gets rough welcome in Greece

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Greece’s left-wing gov­ern­ment launched a fran­tic 24-hour ef­fort late Tues­day to push more aus­ter­ity mea­sures through par­lia­ment and meet de­mands from Euro­pean cred­i­tors as it faced down mount­ing anger at home.

The belt-tight­en­ing mea­sures, which in­clude higher sales tax rates on ev­ery­thing from con­doms to race horses, were agreed upon with eu­ro­zone lead­ers to pre­vent the Greek econ­omy from col­laps­ing, and as part of planned third bailout worth 85 bil­lion eu­ros ($93 bil­lion). It means re­ces­sion-hit Greeks will have to pay more for most goods and ser­vices by the end of the week.

Unions and trade as­so­ci­a­tions rep­re­sent­ing civil ser­vants, mu­nic­i­pal work­ers, phar­macy own­ers and oth­ers called or ex­tended strikes to co­in­cide with Wed­nes­day’s vote in par­lia­ment. Hard-lin­ers in Prime Min­is­ter Tsipras’ own Syriza party were in open re­volt.

Energy Min­is­ter Pana­gi­o­tis Lafaza­nis said lead eu­ro­zone len­der Ger­many and its al­lies had acted like “fi­nan­cial as­sas­sins” by forc­ing the deal on Athens, and urged Tsipras to re­ject it.

“The deal is un­ac­cept­able,” Lafaza­nis said. “It may pass through par­lia­ment ... but the peo­ple will never ac­cept it and will be united in their fight against it.”

Pro-Euro­pean op­po­si­tion par­ties have pledged sup­port for the bailout bills in par­lia­ment, but Tsipras could ef­fec­tively lose his ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment, weak­en­ing his abil­ity to push through mea­sures he had him­self ve­he­mently op­posed un­til a few weeks ago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.