“The most intrusive economic supervision programme ever mounted in the EU” is what the Financial Times called it after European leaders reached a deal to keep Greece in the eurozone and prevent the country from collapsing.
Following intense, 17-hour-long negotiations, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras conceded to massive reforms and tax increases in exchange for badly needed financial aid to keep his country afloat.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the deal was “unanimously reached” by the 19 countries that use the euro currency and that Greece would now be able to “get back on track.” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “the agreement was laborious.” He added: “There is no Grexit.”
EuroSummit has unanimously reached agreement. All ready to go for ESM programme for #Greece with serious reforms & financial support
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 13, 2015
The official release from the EuroSummit which also mentions the conditions which Greece agreed to is here.
Greece, which pledged to implement further harsh austerity measures in return for the loans, must also seek additional help from the International Monetary Fund.
“We found ourselves before difficult decisions, tough dilemmas. We took the responsibility of the decision in order to avert the implementation of the more extreme aims of conservative circles in the European Union,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. “Greece will fight to return to growth and to reclaim its lost sovereignty.”
Tsipras’ complete remarks (in Greek) after the 17-hour-long meeting:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was open to giving Greece some debt relief but would not consider completely writing off Greece’s debt burden. She stressed that Greek needed to rebuild trust with its international creditors — the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission (eurozone governments).
All eyes are now on Athens, where a leftist government, ideologically opposed and elected to oppose austerity measures last January will have to approve the agreement.
Tsipras will have to pass laws by Wednesday night to cut spending, toughen value added tax, overhaul pension systems, change bankruptcy rules and advance privatizations.
Far-left elements within Tsipras’ Syriza party may attempt to block the agreement.
A blog affiliated with the left faction of his party said the new terms would turn Greece into a “debt colony” and called for Greeks to say no once more.
But Tsipras should be able to pass the agreement with the support of opposition parties.
Centrist party, To Potami, with 17 seats in Parliament, issued a statement saying its members would support the deal.
“We are at the disposal of the prime minister toward finding solutions that benefit the nation, both in terms of people and in terms of proposals.”