Before the meeting of Euro zone Finance Ministers on Monday in Brussels, which is expected to discuss the allocation of Athens next tranche, this time in the amount of 7.5 billion euros, the Greek legislators capitulated to the European Commission and other creditors, and has approved a new package of austerity measures and further cuts in government spending, designed to 2019-20 years.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who came to power on a wave of promises not to bend to creditors before the vote, said that this latest austerity measures and that once they begin the long awaited restoration of the economy of Greece. However, the Prime Minister’s popularity rating which has now dropped dramatically, there are few who believe. This is amply demonstrated by yesterday’s General strike. On the streets of the capital came more than ten thousands of desperate Greeks. As usual, began peacefully, the rally ended with clashes of protesters, the vast majority of anarchists, the police used tear gas and water cannons.
The Greeks know very well what awaits them in the near future, because such programs they already passed so many times. Athens agreed for the umpteenth time to raise taxes and reduce pensions and salaries of civil servants. The latter is also waiting for the next dismissal. In General, the usual set of measures «a La the IMF,» which despite their repeated application is impossible to adjust.
Probably should not be too vigorously, as does the opposition, accusing Alexis Tsipras of betraying the interests of the Greek voters and failure to honour election promises. The Greek government again is not the first time I was cornered. Athens to pay the July bills, but to pay, as usual, nothing. So the only salvation from defaulting tranche of Brussels.
«Now they (EU leaders) turn to fulfill the promises as we did, said after the vote in Parliament, Prime Minister Tsipras.- We hope that on Monday the Eurogroup will take a positive decision on the Greek debt, which will correspond to the sacrifices of the Greek people».
Creditors agreed in principle to allocate the next tranche Greeks. However, it remains to discuss the details of the agreement. In Athens I hope that unpleasant surprises will not occur. However, in order to keep the promise about the restoration of the economy, Tsipras have some little trenches. The Greek government had to restructure a huge debt, is now reached in spite of major debt relief in 2012, 179% of GDP. Only after that Greeks can count on inclusion in the program of quantitative easing undertaken by the ECB, and to return to financial markets, which will help them to emerge from the crisis. Recall that Athens has already received in loans of about 260 billion euros. The last programme of assistance designed for 86 billion.
That Greece had no choice, statistics. Released earlier in the week, data show that the Greek economy for the first time since 2012 once again slipped into recession. In the first quarter of GDP, according to Eurostat decreased by 0.1%. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the reduction was much more at 1.2%. In total since 2010, when Athens first asked for help from creditors, Greece’s GDP declined by about a quarter.
«The Greek economy was at a crucial crossroads — quoted Bloomderg Nikos Vettas, the head of the Athens Foundation for economic research.- Now her condition is about the same as three years ago. And although many forces are now weakened, guarantees that it will enter a phase of stable growth is still there».
A huge debt of Greece became the reason for the indecision by the IMF, which does not want to participate in the final program. In Washington want to be sure that the Greeks will be able to perform the servicing obligations and the payment of the debt. It is not surprising that the Greek government cut its forecast for economic development in 2017 from 2.7 to 1.8%.