EU leaders have reached agreement that paves the way to a third Greek bailout, if Athens parliament approves tough austerity measures.
The deal with Greece was struck after marathon all night talks in Brussels.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted this morning that the agreement on Greece was reached “unanimously”. All of the key participants in the talks acknowledged that the deal means a so-called Grexit was no longer on the agenda.
Greek people however also took to twitter condemning the bailout, using #thisisacoup
Stock markets across Europe and the euro started growing after the Greek agreement. A composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index grew by 1.1 percent at the opening, with the euro rallying to $1,1147 from a Friday reading of $1,1162.
The Mail Online reports:
European Council President Donald Tusk this morning tweeted: ‘Euro summit has unanimously reached agreement. All ready to go for ESM programme for Greece with serious reforms and financial support.’
‘There are strict conditions to be met. Nevertheless, the decision gives Greece the chance to get back on track with the support of European partners. It also avoids the social, economic and political consequences that a negative outcome would have brought,’ he added.
It is these ‘strict conditions’ imposed by international lenders led by Germany that could bring down Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist government and cause an outcry in Greece.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said there was no longer any risk of Greece leaving the euro after Athens agreed to the bailout terms, adding ‘Grexit has gone’.
However Greeks have already taken to social media using #thisisacoup to decry the terms of the deal, claiming the harsh terms strip Athens of its fiscal sovereignty. Users even accused Germany of ‘destroying Europe once again’, adding they ‘could not do it with tanks so now they try it with banks’.
Earlier a Greek official said the main sticking points had been the future involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Greece’s bailout programme and a proposal that Greece set aside €50 billion (£35.9 billion) worth of state-owned assets in a fund for eventual privatisation.
EU officials said Tsipras finally accepted a compromise on German-led demands for the sequestration of Greek state assets to be sold off to pay down debt.
The terms of the agreement were not immediately known.
The Greek leader also dropped resistance to a full role for the International Monetary Fund in a proposed €86 billion ($95.78 billion) bailout, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared essential to win parliamentary backing in Berlin.
Following the bailout agreement, Merkel said trust with Greece ‘needs to be rebuilt,’ but added that she backed the deal with ‘full conviction’
However, in a sign of how hard it may be for Tsipras to convince his own Syriza party to accept the deal, Labour Minister Panos Skourletis said the terms were unviable and would lead to new elections this year.
As the hours ticked away overnight, most of the leaders were forced to cool their heels, playing computer games or taking a nap in their delegation offices while Tusk and the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met several times privately to try to cut through the final knots.
Tsipras will now have to rush swathes of legislation through parliament this week to convince his 18 partners to release bridging funds to avert a state bankruptcy and just to begin negotiations on a three-year loan.
If the summit had failed, Greece would have be staring into an economic abyss with its shuttered banks on the brink of collapse and the prospect of having to print a parallel currency and in time exit the European monetary union.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme George Katrougalos, Greek Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform, said: ‘It is a very hard dilemma for us.
‘It is an agreement that is practically forced upon us but I think all of this discussion in the Euro group shows that the real issue is not Greece, it was never Greece.
‘Clearly it is the Europe of austerity that has won but not without showing to the whole world the essence of the problems… I don’t want to sell anything to anybody, everyone understands in Greece. This is a forced agreement.’
Katrougalos described today’s agreement as the ‘political murder of our economy’, adding that he believes Greece is being blackmailed because the country have no other choice.
‘This is not the way that Europe can go forward’ he said…The basic obligation is to remain alive to the next battle. We hope that Europe is not going to stay as it is now,’ he said.
‘I have full confidence in our Prime Minister. I know he has given personally a very bitter and strong fight against the measures. He wants our country to survive and I have full trust in his political instinct. I think the basic issue is not the economy, it is politics.
Katrougalos said he believed the agreement signified that there is a ‘global war against the middle class and the working class,’ adding: ‘This war must be won by the other forces’.
Meanwhile UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said: ‘If I were a Greek politician I would vote against this deal. If I were a Greek ‘no’ voter I would be protesting in the streets.
‘Mr Tsipras’s position is now at stake. This conditional deal shows that national democracy and membership of the Eurozone are incompatible.’
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