Saturday June 24th 2017

Greece Accepts EU Deal

Greek Protest Earlier this Year (CC)
Free News Press – In a last minute deal to avoid a referendum vote by the people of Greece, the Greek Parliament approved a European Union bailout plan that calls for the Hellenic Republic to accept several austerity measures.

European leaders have been wrangling for weeks on a plan to provide money to avoid default, and late last week they finally agreed on an aid package. But on Monday Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced that he supported a referendum vote on the matter.

It seemed like a done-deal with a vote set for December where the Greek people would decide whether they wanted this new round of austerity measures. The alternative would have been an ugly disorganized bankruptcy by the government. Greece would have been forced to either drop from the eurozone or lose sovereignty – no one was sure what would have happened.

On Thursday the opposition party agreed to the terms of the EU package but is now demanding that Papandreou step down. There is little chance of a referendum vote now.

The Parliament will take up another vote of confidence for the PM at midnight tonight. Papandreou has been the leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) since 2004, but many analysts believe his days are numbered.

The PASOK holds a slight majority in the Parliament, only 152 deputies of the 300 members. One of his party members has already said that she would not back him as PM.

In its headline Friday an Athens financial paper, the Kerdos, said that everything is on a “knife-edge”

Stock prices rallied Thursday after news that an agreement was reached. In early trading on Friday, markets are opening higher in Europe.

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