Greek bailout deal approaches final stages
Negotiations surrounding the latest Greek bailout deal seem to be entering their final stages as Greek ministers and EU officials began to agree on the details of the settlement.
A draft of the agreement has now been submitted to the Greek Parliament for their assent, ahead of the £2.5 billion repayment due to the European Central Bank (ECB) next week. It is hoped that the matter will proceed to a full debate and vote on Thursday. An emergency session of Parliament has been called to ensure that the deal can be voted on in time.
The country’s finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said he was optimistic that a deal would be struck soon. "I don't know if it will be tomorrow morning, but soon means soon,” he added.
EU hopes agreement will be achieved
The European Commission also expressed its hope that an agreement would be reached, possibly as early as August 20th. If approved, the deal will be Greece’s third European bailout in five years.
Previous bailout talks have been much more dramatic, with the ever-present threat of Greece being forced out of the eurozone used as a threat by the country’s creditors.
The draft measures approve many of the things that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza party had previously promised to oppose. Sweeping cuts to the military, pensions, and tax credits to the poorest in Greek society are the biggest concessions.
Plans to raise further £35.87bn
There are also plans to raise £35.87 billion through a raft of privatisations, to show that Greece is serious about tackling its debts. Creditors are also pushing to have toxic debts bundled and sold to asset funds to raise further capital.
If the deal is accepted by the Greek Parliament, the countries providing financial assistance (including Germany) must also agree to it through votes in their own legislatures. Germany has already sounded a note of caution, saying that its politicians would need to thoroughly examine the draft proposals before deciding on a course of action.