25th Mar 2023

National parliaments gear up for Greek bailout vote

  • The Bundestag will vote on the third Greek bailout on Friday (Photo: Pierre)

The German Bundestag on Friday morning (17 July) will hold a special plenary to decide on whether to back a third bailout package for Greece.

Bild - a German tabloid that wants a Grexit - reports resistance is already emerging against the bailout in the governing centre-right CDU and its small Bavarian sister party, the CSU.

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Klaus-Peter Willsch, a CDU deputy, told Bild he was "definitely" going to say No to further aid for Greece while Mark Hauptmann, another deputy from the party, said: "Greece said 'Oxi' to reforms, that's why I am saying 'Oxi' to further credit".

The Bundestag's go-ahead, along with 17 other eurozone governments or parliaments, is needed for Greece to open talks on a three-year €86 billion bailout.

The Eurogroup and board of governors of the ESM – the eurozone bailout fund - will then discuss the outcome and take a formal decision on whether negotiations should kick off with creditors.

Much will depend on whether the Greek parliament on Wednesday (15 July) manages to pass a first raft of laws to streamline VAT, broaden the tax base, and reform pensions.

The country, which continues to suffer with high unemployment and a 175 percent GDP to debt ratio, agreed Monday to a further round of harsh austerity demands largely pushed through by Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Italy’s minister of finance Pier Carlo Padoan told Italian media Il Sole 24 Ore that only Cyprus, France, and Italy backed a compromise deal with the Greeks at the euro summit. The rest fell behind Germany.

Not all decisions will be made by national parliament plenaries. Some will be taken at committee level or only by the government.

But by the time the German Bundestag vote is over, many other parliaments or governments should have their positions finalised.

France will be among the first, with a debate and vote in the national assembly on Wednesday.

The European affairs committee of the Latvian parliament will also meet on Wednesday but a vote remains unclear at this stage.

“It is not necessarily said that there should be vote by the parliament. It could just be a decision of the government”, spokesperson from the Latvian parliament told this website on Tuesday (14 July).

Estonia’s parliament will convene on Thursday. It is not yet clear if there will be a vote, but the PM is expected to make a presentation.

In Finland and the Netherlands - both seen as in the same tough camp as Germany - there will be committee level votes in their parliaments on Thursday.

Austria’s parliament will vote on Friday.

Meanwhile, the decision on whether to open negotiations for a third Greek bailout will be made at the government level in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia and probably Spain.

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