Greece: next austerity package agreed

Athens has agreed to a new austerity package in return for further bailout loans. The 3.6 billion euros in austerity measures include pension cuts of up to 18 percent and a lower tax-exempt amount. Greece is due to repay over seven billion euros in loans in July. Is the agreement a sensible compromise or a pact with a destructive impact?

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To Vima (GR) /

Government finally coming to its senses

It appears that Alexis Tsipras's left-leaning government is finally learning from its mistakes, the online paper To Vima writes:

“Unfortunately the education of the two governing parties has cost a pretty penny: more than 80 billion euros in additional public debt, capital movement controls for the banks and non-performing loans amounting to more than 100 billion euros. Added to that, thousands of businesses have closed down and tens of thousands of workers have become unemployed in the past two years. Twelve billion euros were spent on public support measures, above all for the underprivileged, and there was an exodus of capital amounting to roughly 60 billion euros. What's more, Greece's image has suffered further damage. But nothing can be done about all that anymore. The government has learned a thing or two from the catastrophic developments of the past two years and now has a better grasp of how the world - and the markets - function and seems to have come to its senses.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Press on regardless

The new agreement between Athens and its creditors is so urgently needed that there must be no more brake manoeuvres, Der Standard warns:

“While the Greeks groan under the weight of the new burden, Germany has added another little load, with Berlin saying that the matter of how high Athens' surpluses should be had yet to be settled. … A dangerous cocktail: Greece is finally emerging from a long depression. New speculation about bankruptcy would swiftly smother the seedlings of that recovery - just as was the case in 2015 when Athens turned its back on the reform programme and catapulted itself back into a recession. No matter what the solution looks like in detail the priority now must be to avoid any brake manoeuvres. According to the motto: press on regardless.”

Dimokratia (GR) /

Human sacrifices for the creditors

The daily Dimokratia, by contrast, complains that the government has allowed the country to be completely destroyed:

“The government has agreed that the people will give their blood, and that in return for this massive human sacrifice they will receive only promises. In the end the creditors are being given free rein in Greece. Political resistance to this is weak, almost inexistent in fact. The direct attack on workers' employment and insurance rights, the indirect confiscation of the Greeks' property through soaring taxes, and the perpetuation of all of the state's bureaucratic problems are just some of the 'gifts' that our country's 'saviours' have given their voters. Naturally the creditors' troika is not being held accountable to the Greeks. On the contrary, it is demanding that the Greeks should be accountable to it because for years they 'lived above their means'.”