Daily Key Events Report on the Greek Debt Crisis – July 9, 2015
On Wednesday, Greece formally asked for an international bailout loan to meet debt obligations. In return for the new rescue package, which is set to run for three years, “the Republic is committed to a comprehensive set of reforms and measures to be implemented in the areas of fiscal sustainability, financial stability, and long-term economic growth,” writes new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in the formal loan letter. In the same document, the government pledged, among others, to start implementing a set of tax and pension reforms as early as next week.
In a turbulent chamber yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the European Parliament, reiterating his commitment to submitting credible reform plans, keeping Greece in the eurozone but also reversing the inequalities caused by five years of austerity. “It is no exaggeration to say that my country has over the past five years been transformed into an austerity laboratory. This experiment, I think all of us have to accept, has not been a success…Our prime objective must be to combat unemployment and to encourage entrepreneurship,” he added. His comments were welcomed by UKIP Leader and MEP Nigel Farage. Manfred Weber, the German Leader of the centre-right European People's Party, and the Centrist Leader in parliament, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, launched an attack on the Greek government's failure to propose reforms but also accused Tsipras of destroying trust in Europe and misleading his people. Some politicians held up “Oxi” (No) signs in support of Greek voters’ rejection of more austerity, while far-right speakers praised the Greek government for standing up to European “oligarchy”.
In the meantime, the European Central Bank has decided not to increase the amount of emergency credit that Greek banks can draw on and banks are to remain closed until end of business on Monday with the initial capital controls still in place.
The opposition parties that, with the exception of the communist party, formed a common front with the Greek government during Monday’s political leaders’ summit in Athens, warned Tsipras to reach an agreement and keep the country in the eurozone. After flying in from Brussels late yesterday evening, the Greek Prime Minister met with the President of the Greek Republic.
Sometime today, the Greek government is expected to submit its final proposals, which will then be discussed and evaluated by the Eurogroup, ahead of Sunday’s Summit.
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