Date
22 July 2017
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives in his office in Athens after the last-minute bailout deal with the eurozone. He faces resistance from his own party to get legislation passed to complete the agreement. Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives in his office in Athens after the last-minute bailout deal with the eurozone. He faces resistance from his own party to get legislation passed to complete the agreement. Photo: Reuters

Greek PM faces party revolt over bailout deal

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces a party revolt over a Greek bailout deal with eurozone leaders that imposes severe austerity measures on the near-crippled economy.

Rebels in the left-wing Syriza party denounced the agreement just hours after it was announced and criticized Tsipras for caving to German demands for painful welfare and social security cuts.

The terms of the agreement are at odds with a promise to end austerity that propelled Tsipras and Syriza to power in January.

Tsipras must now pass legislation to cut pensions, increase value added tax, clamp down on collective bargaining agreements and put in place quasi-automatic spending constraint, according to Reuters.

Also, he must set 50 billion euros (US$55 billion) of public sector assets aside to be sold off under the supervision of foreign lenders and get the whole package through parliament by Wednesday.

Tsipras defended the deal, saying he had “fought a tough battle” and “averted the plan for financial strangulation”.

But to get the accord through parliament by Wednesday’s deadline, he will have to rely on votes from pro-European opposition parties, raising questions over the future of his government and opening the prospect of snap elections.

If the summit on Greece’s third bailout had failed, Athens would have been staring into an economic abyss with its banks on the brink of collapse and the prospect of having to print a parallel currency and exit the euro.

Instead, it won conditional agreement to receive a possible 86 billion euros over three years, provided its European partners are satisfied that the conditions are met.

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