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    Greek Chorus: MPs Divided in Athens Over European Financial Aid Plan

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    Talks over the conditions for Greece exiting the European financial aid program have caused division among legislators. While the ruling party representative billed the move as 'historic', the opposition notes that austerity measures would have to stay in place for years.

    Sputnik discussed the outcome of the European Group’s negotiations with MPs.

    Economy Hit Harder

    Konstantinos Tsiaras from “New Democracy” (Nea Demokratia) noted that the decision did not ease Greece’s debt burden, leaving the public with an ironic smile. He went on to say that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ moves run just counter to what he had earlier promised.

    "In the next two years, additional austerity measures will be introduced. Athens will stay under creditors’ strict control; meanwhile, Greece will have to sustain the initial profit at 3.5 percent of GDP until 2022. All this by no means adds optimism to the future of the Greek economy," Tsiaras continued to claim that by agreeing to such conditions, the government will hit the Greek economy even harder:

    "It is not being revived, there is no prospect for rising business and investment."

    "The government’s optimism is nothing more than an attempt to justify its decision and the state that we are currently in."

    He concluded saying that the agreement is virtually Greece’s fourth memorandum, albeit featuring “rigid control” and “no financing.”

    Brave New World

    Meanwhile, according to Dimitrios Papadimulis, European MP from Greece’s ruling Syriza party, the decision to ease the country’s debt burden is "historic":

    "This is the beginning of a new, brighter era for the country. Greece is moving on from troubles to their resolution. More serious work needs to be done to revive the economy and eventually, step by step, citizens’ everyday lives."

    His views are echoed by Todoros Tosunidis from "The Independent Greeks" party, who said that the move is "a happy day for Greece and the Greeks," ushering in a bright new era for the country.

    "We can at long last plan out future. We owe this European Group decision to Panos Kammenos [leader of ANEL – “The Independent Greeks” party]. He has led the country to stability. The opposition forces’ plan to change the government hasn’t worked out."

    EU's Interests Served

    Nikos Karafanasopulos from the Greek Communist Party, conversely, remarked that yesterday’s deal is a prerequisite for new unpopular measures, such as cuts in retirement and other social benefits.

    READ MORE: European Commission: Creditors Strike Deal on Greece Reforms

    "The measures will inevitably be introduced due to increased monitoring by creditors and the EU." He is certain that citizens will have to "tighten the belts" for many years.

    "The deal serves the interests of the EU, IMF and NATO, but not those of common working class people. Greeks will remain under pressure, much like all the way through the crunch."

    On June 21, the European Group reached an agreement to stop providing financial aid to Greece. Athens is expected to get the last tranche of around 15 billion euros. "Eight years of the Greek crisis have neared an end," European MPs summed up.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

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