Wednesday

26th Jun 2019

Deal on Greece paves way for debt relief talks

  • Greek finance minister Tsakalotos (c): 'There was white smoke' (Photo: Council of the EU)

Greece and its international creditors have agreed a “technical deal” that allows them to move on to discussions about debt relief, finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Tuesday (2 May).

“The negotiations for a technical deal were concluded on all issues,” he said, adding that “the way has now been paved for debt relief talks”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The deal includes a promise by Greece to cut pensions and increase taxes, in exchange for permission to give rent subsidies and increase child support, a Greek government source told the Bloomberg news agency.

Tuesday's agreement between Greece and its lenders - the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - was needed before the two sides could discuss debt relief.

The IMF says debt relief is necessary because Greece's enormous debt is unsustainable, but eurozone countries are hesitant to do so because they would have to explain it to their voters.

The Eurogroup is expected to approve the deal and allow a new tranche of aid for Greece at its next meeting on 22 May. It could also discuss reducing Greece's debt. Before then, the Greek parliament also has to approve the agreement.

Separately, Greek workers protested outside the national parliament in Athens on Monday against the measures required for the second bailout review.

“This review serves as the destruction of the people and the pensioners,” Manolis Rallakis, of a pensioners association, told Euronews.

A new strike was called for 17 May, just days before eurozone finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels.

A Eurobarometer survey published last Thursday showed that Greeks have a much more negative view of Europe than the rest of the bloc.

Just 34 percent of Greeks said they thought the EU was a good thing, compared with a Europe-wide average of 57 percent.

Some 32 percent of Greeks thought EU membership was “a bad thing”, compared with the EU-average of 14 percent.

Eurogroup makes 'progress' on Greek deal

Eurozone ministers endorsed an agreement in principle between the Greek government and its creditors over a new package of reforms. But talks on fiscal targets and debt could still block a final agreement.

Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock

Athens agreed on budget cuts worth up to €3.6 billion and extracted some concessions from creditors, but the IMF warned the package might not be enough.

Greek bailout talks to 'intensify'

Greece and its creditors will meet in Brussels later this week to unblock negotiations needed for a new tranche of financial aid, amid concerns over the country's economic situation.

News in Brief

  1. EU warns Turkey as 'Gezi Park' trials begin
  2. EU universities to share students, curricula
  3. Migrant rescue ship loses Human Rights Court appeal
  4. Denmark completes social democrat sweep of Nordics
  5. Johnson offers 'do or die' pledge on Brexit
  6. Weber indirectly attacks Macron in newspaper op-ed
  7. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  8. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  4. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  6. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  7. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  8. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  9. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

Latest News

  1. EU moves to end car-testing 'confidentiality clause'
  2. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  3. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  4. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  5. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  6. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  7. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  8. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us