14 Jul '15     home | previous

The Deal with Greece

Yesterday, Europe's ministers backed down and agreed to a deal with Greece – a conditional deal – after an all-night bargaining session. Greece is to receive its third international bailout in five years. Germany's Prime Minister Merkel and other ministers appear to be defending what they think is the well-being of the European Union's integration, including Greece staying within the eurozone.

Today, BBC News reports that Greece's Prime Minister Tsipras must now "win legislative approval for central elements of the agreement, most of which he and his left-wing Syriza party had adamantly opposed for months.

A scholar at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Heather A. Conley, writes:

It is extremely difficult to understand what the last six months were all about and what they were designed to accomplish.

She reminds us that at least six other eurozone parliaments – Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Slovakia – must approve the third bailout package. She reminds us also that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has described the new bailout as "insufficient to cover Greece's future financial needs". Conley adds:

The democratic mood music in all six countries is strongly against providing further financial assistance and the package is unlikely to be approved by all six. The result? European solidarity continues to crumble and the future of the European integration project is profoundly questioned.

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Also today, headlines scream about the 'historic' deal with Iran just concluded. After years of negotiations, world powers (excluding Israel) have finally reached a deal with Iran on limiting its nuclear activity. More on this in the days ahead.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.