Eu­ro­zone set to de­cide

MPs’ de­bate on third bailout con­tin­ues into the night, hours be­fore Eurogroup

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Greek Par­lia­ment was due to vote on the latest bailout deal early this morn­ing af­ter frac­tious de­bate among MPs and shortly be­fore the Eurogroup is due to con­vene in Brus­sels to­day.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos and other min­is­ters de­fended the new loan pro­gram in Par­lia­ment yesterday. Tsakalo­tos con­ceded that the pack­age in­cluded “dif­fi­cult mea­sures” but said he had tried to space out their im­ple­men­ta­tion to ease the im­pact. The gov­ern­ment will im­ple­ment most of the bud­get-trim­ming mea­sures in 2017, not this year and next year, he said. In a clear dig at rebels in the ranks of SYRIZA, Tsakalo­tos said that fail­ure to ap­prove the deal in Greece’s Par­lia­ment would oblige him to ac­cept a bridge loan when he meets with his eu­ro­zone coun­ter­parts in Brus­sels to­day for a sched­uled meet­ing to dis­cuss Greece.

Eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters will to­day have to choose be­tween ap­prov­ing a three-year bailout for Greece or opt­ing for a bridge loan, which would al­low the coun­try to cover its im­me­di­ate debt com­mit­ments with­out of­fer­ing the stim­u­lus funds and prospects of debt re­lief that Athens hopes a new bailout will bring.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in­di­cated that it was in fa­vor of the for­mer op­tion with EC Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker tweet­ing, “All doc­u­ments for ESM pro­gram for Greece now sent to the EU coun­cil ahead of Fri­day’s Eurogroup.”

Dur­ing a con­fer­ence call in­volv­ing se­nior Euro­pean Union fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials last night, the at­mos­phere was pos­i­tive, Kathimerini un­der­stands. Greece’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Gior­gos Hou­liarakis, was asked many ques­tions re­lat­ing to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new pro­gram and other is­sues.

There were also pos­i­tive noises from the Fin­nish camp, which had been among the staunch­est crit­ics of Greece. “I got to­day a man­date to ap­prove the third pack­age for Greece,” Fin­nish Fi­nance Min­is­ter Alexan­der Stubb told re­porters in Helsinki af­ter the coun­try’s Par­lia­men­tary Grand Com­mit­tee – con­sist­ing of 25 of the leg­is­la­tures 200 MPs – gave their ap­proval. In an in­ter­view with Bloomberg, Stubb said, “Things are look­ing much bet­ter right now.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.