Eurogroup gives Athens some debt relief
The Eurozone finance ministers agreed on Monday to certain measures that will give Greece a little more time to repay its debts. At the same time they insisted that Athens must negotiate further austerity measures. This latest agreement is only seemingly good news for the country, commentators conclude.
Just a small gift for Greece
The Greeks shouldn't get too euphoric over the Euro Group's decision, To Vima warns:
“It is clear that the current political balance of power in Europe can only offer a small gift that won't need to be approved by national parliaments. The creditors had already promised it in 2012 and confirmed it in May of this year. They can't simply ignore their promise yet again. On the other hand their insistence on concrete measures is unambiguous. … Although the government has said repeatedly that it won't accept any new measures on the labour market, it's clear that this is on the agenda. The new negotiations with the troika in the next few days most certainly won't be a walk in the park.”
EU finance ministers out of touch with reality
The euro finance ministers want Athens to do the impossible, taz criticises:
“The Europeans are resolutely demanding that Greece achieve a 'primary surplus' of 3.5 percent of GDP. That refers to the budget surplus after interest payments. 3.5 percent might sound harmless, but it's not. Even 'black zero' fetishist Wolfgang Schäuble [German finance minister] can only manage a primary surplus of less than one percent, despite lower unemployment and ebullient tax revenues. How is Greece supposed to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5 percent? The International Monetary Fund has long warned that any more than 1.5 percent is unrealistic. ... One can't avoid the suspicion that the euro finance ministers are still hoping the desperate Greeks will accept the Grexit.”