The negotiations between Greece and its lenders on a third “financial assistance package” have started on 27 July.
European institutions’ condition to the release of these funds was the adoption by the Greek parliament of two packages of measures – which occurred on 16 and 23 July.
But it wasn’t enough for the institutions, and they are now demanding that the Greek parliament passes an ever more outrageous package of additional “reforms” – still this very month! – before the payment of the assistance! These new demands focus on the most sensitive issues. On the one hand, pensions (acceleration of the deletion of early retirements, as well as of the bonuses for tiny pensions; shortening of the delay to pass the retirement age at 67 years old!). On the other, labour law (easing collective dismissals).
This new blackmail imposed upon Greece – bearing in mind that Greek debt’s repayment deadlines are getting closer (which includes € 3.2 billion to the ECB on 20 August) – is unacceptable! It obviously aims at causing a serious political crisis within SYRIZA.
“We have fulfilled our part of the deal, and now they want to impose on us new conditions”, warns Alexis Tsipras. The Greek Prime Minister rightly stresses that he committed to “respect what had been negotiated within the framework of the 13 July agreement – nothing more, nothing less.”
The overbid of Greece’s lenders poses a serious threat to the on-going negotiations. It is up to anyone capable of exerting influence on major European political actors, so that the deadlock preventing a positive and quick ending can be resolved.