Wednesday

17th Aug 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Column

Is this strange summer a moment of change?

It is a strange, strange summer. The war in Ukraine continues, 60 percent of Europe is in danger of drought, and Covid is still around and could rebound in the autumn. At the same time, everyone is desperate for normalcy.

News in Brief

  1. Tens of thousands of Jews quit Russia since start of war
  2. Russia says GDP forecasts better than expected
  3. Spain 'hopeful' for new gas pipeline
  4. German troops return to Bosnia over instability fears
  5. Next UK PM candidates reject Scottish independence push
  6. Russia will not allow British spy plane overflight
  7. Discrimination in Germany remains high, new figures show
  8. US weighs plan to revive Iran nuclear deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us