PM waits for ap­proval

Deal for third bailout to go to Par­lia­ment af­ter gain­ing cred­i­tors’ back­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Af­ter se­cur­ing an agree­ment with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Greece’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors yesterday, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras must now con­sider how to push the deal through Par­lia­ment as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble amid op­po­si­tion at home and abroad.

The deal ap­peared to be all but done yesterday, fol­low­ing 20 hours of talks, with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos not­ing that just a few de­tails re­mained to be re­solved. A Euro­pean Com­mis­sion of­fi­cial ac­knowl­edged that a deal had been reached but at the “tech­ni­cal,” not the po­lit­i­cal, level.

Top fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials from the 28 mem­ber states of the Euro­pean Union yesterday dis­cussed by tele­con­fer­ence the con­tent of the agree­ment, which was widely leaked in the media and by Greek gov­ern­ment sources but had yet to be of­fi­cially pre­sented by late last night. Their ini­tial as­sess­ment was said to be pos­i­tive and they were to con­tinue their dis­cus­sions to­day ahead of a likely sum­mit of eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters on Fri­day. As­sum­ing the Eurogroup goes ahead, the Greek gov­ern­ment’s great­est con­cern is that Ger­man Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble will re­it­er­ate his op­po­si­tion to a deal and in­sist that Greece should in­stead be granted a bridge loan, so it can meet a 3.2-bil­lion-euro debt re­pay­ment to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank on Au­gust 20.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel struck a sim­i­lar tone in a tele­phone call with Tsipras yesterday, ac­cord­ing to an aide close to the Greek premier. Merkel told Tsipras that Ger­many is “skep­ti­cal” about the agree­ment and pro­posed a bridge loan in­stead of a full agree­ment, which she sug­gested re­quired more de­tailed dis­cus­sion, the of­fi­cial said. Tsipras re­sponded that the agree­ment has the back­ing of Greece’s cred­i­tors and can­not be re­versed now, ac­cord­ing to the aide. The Greek premier had also talked to Merkel on Mon­day, when he also spoke with French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande and Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker, who are said to have been very sup­port­ive.

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