The finance ministers of the EU countries have not been able to agree on assistance to Greece. The eight-hour negotiations in Brussels ended in vain - there will be neither the allocation of a new credit tranche, nor the write-off of at least part of the huge Greek debt.
At the same time, the European Commissioner for Economy and Finance Pierre Moskosvici expressed the hope that the agreement on the loan of Greece still "can be achieved in a few weeks." And this despite the fact that the measures of austerity, which were the condition of the loan, the government has already introduced.
The only one who so far definitely wins is the euro rate. Exchange analysts noted that the new package of reforms and austerity measures had a positive impact on the currency quotes.
Protesters during the 24-hour strike in Athens. 17 May 2017
For loans for the country will pay pensioners
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said: "We deserve and expect from the Eurogroup a solution that will ease our debt burden and will meet the expectations of the people of Greece." While there is no such solution. But there are saving measures, including: a general reduction in budget spending of 4,8 billion euros, a reduction in pensions by 18% and a reduction in the minimum amount of annual income that is not taxable, from 8636 to 5681 euro.
Almost all Greek trade unions organized a strike in protest: the railway and bus services were stopped, the taxi was not working. The strike was also joined by doctors, civil servants, journalists and even firefighters. In the center of Athens there were clashes of strikers with the police, tear gas was used. No protest was given.
In the EU, they do not want to pay themselves, but at the same time they urge that loans to Greece be renewed from the sources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "It is important for us that the IMF participate in the loan allocation program, since it is very important for the euro area countries, it is important for the EU as a whole," said Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Daiselblum. Earlier, Cipras stated the failure of negotiations with the IMF because of Germany's position and even asked the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convince his finance minister to "end his constant aggressiveness."
The situation around the allocation of loans generally looks like going around in circles. The Greeks promise money all the time in exchange for painful reforms. And all the time the delivery of money is postponed. In this sense, almost synchronous statements from the Federal Republic of Germany, the main financial donor of the EU, are indicative.
Vice-Chancellor and German Foreign Minister Zigmar Gabriel from the Suddeutsche Zeitung's pages makes a proposal to write off part of the Greek debt: "Greece is constantly promised to write off debts in exchange for implementing reforms, we must keep this promise." At the same time, the German Ministry of Finance is distributing an official message: "We do not agree with the alleviation of the debt burden of Athens." Berlin opposes extending the terms of Greece's repayment of loans and debt forgiveness. "
Leader of the party SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras after winning the parliamentary elections in Greece
And the left will be right
For an ambiguous package of reforms, 153 MP was voted, against - 128. The situation in the Greek parliament is paradoxical. The point is that Cipras is the leader of the SYRIZA coalition, the ultra-left political forces. In January 2015, SYRIZA won the parliamentary elections in the wake of protest actions against the economy measures conducted by the right-wing New Democracy party under EU pressure.
The very appearance of debt is also a "merit" of the right-liberal governments. Since 2000-ies, they "ruled" statistics on the economic indicators of the country in order to show the budget deficit and thereby attract investment. In 2009, the facts of understating the deficit were revealed. A scandal broke out. The debt crisis was first imposed on the world financial crisis, then on the "war of sanctions" and the crisis with refugees. Since then, the country has been knocked out. And the debt to the structures of the EU is constantly growing.
After in 2015, SYRIZA became the ruling party, Tsipras promised voters to abandon the "bondage conditions" and "dictates" of the EU. Moreover, he threatened to withdraw from the eurozone and predicted "the beginning of the end of the euro area." But in the end - after a series of negotiations with European officials - Tsipras himself became an ardent supporter of economy. And now the ultra-left politician defends the right economic program.
Greeks burned the flag of SYRIZA at a rally against the agreement with eurocreditors