Berlin / Athens.
Greece debated on a new austerity package, a trial of strength for Tsipras. Even if he takes the hurdle, the situation remains serious
standstill in Greece. The railway runs not, ferries remain in port, the transport in Athens and other cities has collapsed. Radio and television only send emergency programs. The unions have called for a multi-day general strike to protest against planned pension cuts and tax increases.
About the new austerity package advises since Saturday the Greek parliament, on Sunday evening wants the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras about the vote. The cuts are to create the conditions for the disbursement of aid funds from the third bailout. But Tsipras is facing a double problem: The austerity program is the showdown of his left-right coalition has only a slim majority of 153 of 300 deputies. If Tsipras fails due to the hurdle, new elections are likely.
dispute over new debt relief
But even if Tsipras by bringing the package, he faces tags on a check: His hope that the finance ministers of the euro countries are already decide the disbursement of the next loan tranche of 4.5 billion to Greece this Monday is likely to be disappointed. Because between donors themselves pointed the dispute over new debt relief for Athens to: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) calls for immediate negotiations on a new debt relief for Greece – otherwise is the participation of the IMF to the 86-billion-euro aid program in question.
support comes from France, while German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) for the time being does not want to talk about debt relief. He insists that the Greek Parliament decided to stock up decision on billions more cuts if the previous measures as foreseen are not enough to achieve the agreed budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product. The dispute could drag a while. Greece needs the money by July to pay off loans can and settle arrears of the state.
Juncker are still confident
EU -Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker are still confident – and sees Greece on track to overcome the debt crisis. “We are just at the first evaluation of the program, and the objectives are almost achieved,” he said of our editors. European finance ministers on Monday would “lead first discussions about how you can make the debt of Greece are sustainable”.
From a new aid package could be no question. Juncker stressed that the Greek economic data were better than expected. The Commission go of a return to growth in the second half of 2016, which will accelerate in the coming year. “The program, which began last summer, Greece has therefore received the foundation for return to a long-term stable economic development,” the president said.
A Greek exit from the euro zone was was not an option in the previous year “and it is now even less”. Juncker praised the cooperation with the government in Athens as “constructive, loyal and trusting”. The utility is specially designed so that the main effort was to make at the beginning, he recalled. “This opens up right at the beginning the possibility to recover the lost last year gone confidence and bring important reforms on the way as soon as possible.”
Schäuble insists on fulfillment of reform conditions
But optimism does not share IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Your experts criticize that Tsipras has implemented more than a fifth of the negotiated last summer reform requirements. Negotiations on the – in favor of Schäuble – further savings but be fruitless. Debt relief would now be “immediately on the table,” Lagarde wrote the euro finance ministers. . The objective of a budget surplus of 3.5 percent is unrealistic, it would have to be revised down to 1.5 percent
Schäuble is in distress: he wants to talk about debt relief only if all savings and reform requirements are met. Everything else, he fears, is no longer enforceable in the Union. But the finance minister is now set also by coalition partners under pressure: SPD leader Gabriel calls already on Monday would have debt relief for Athens are decided. The Reuters news agency said Gabriel: “We all know that this debt relief must come sometime. It makes no sense, in front of it to push again. “