First published: Prospectmagazine.co.uk, 23/07/2015
The panic is lessening inside Greece but how long can this détente last?
Last night, the Greek Parliament voted to approve a second emergency bill, paving the way for discussions about the country’s third bailout of up to €86bn to proceed. Like the first bill, which provided for austerity measures worth about 2.5 per cent of GDP, approval yesterday depended on the support of opposition members of parliament. The number of Syriza’s 149 lawmakers voting against the government, or abstaining, dropped slightly from 39 to 36, still leaving Alexis Tsipras’ political position in the balance.
So what happens next? According to Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, bailout talks could be completed by the second half of August. Another ECB loan falls due for repayment on 20th August, but if talks have not been completed then, a new bridging loan will probably be forthcoming. In view of the depletion of the government’s majority in the Hellenic Parliament, and the split inside Syriza, Alexis Tsipras has indicated that there could be new elections on the 13th or 20th September, once the talks are completed. Events are now unfolding in three spheres: the technicalities of the bailout agreement, Greek politics, and the eurozone itself….Read more: