After a frantic scramble involving complex political negotiations that could bring down Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, Greece last night submitted proposals for a third, three-year bailout programme to prevent “Grexit”.
There was hope as the Greek government appeared to accept that austerity measures were inevitable in return for loans to save the country from
bankruptcyand expulsion from the euro.
Greek opposition politicians, the conservative New Democracy and liberal The River parties, held secret talks yesterday in Brussels as the Greek government prepared to pass controversial legislation on pension cuts and tax increases. Diplomatic sources told The Times that Mr Tsipras appeared ready to pass measures without the support of his government coalition partners, the nationalist Independent Greeks, or left-wingers in his own Syriza party.Let me see if I have this right. After months of prevarication, during which the Greek government steadfastly refused to bow to demands of austerity, it held a referendum urging the Greek people to reject the creditors' demands and won by a comfortable majority. A week later, and contrary to the referendum result, the same Greek government offers to accept austerity.
All this to secure additional loans which it will use to repay previous loans from its creditors, with a possible promise of debt re-structuring sometime in the future.
It makes my head spin ...