Euro Deal Seems Tough For PM Tsipras, But Spare A Thought For Chancellor Merkel

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

After 17 hours of “extremely hard, violent even” negotiations concluded in Brussels on Monday, a third Greek bailout – a three-year plan worth some €86 billion – appeared secure. Then doubt began to emerge. Most centred on whether Prime Minister Tsipras could persuade Greece to accept the deal, but now many are asking whether Chancellor Merkel can persuade the German parliament to support her.

EurActiv reports a majority of the Bundestag’s 631 MPs, made up of centre-right, Green and Social Democrat MPs, are expected to ratify, but doubts do remain.

First, Chancellor Merkel will not request a vote from German MPs before the Greek parliament has confirmed the entire programme and passed the necessary reforms. This move is expected to occur by Wednesday.

Secondly, the vote at Friday morning’s special session, called during the summer parliamentary recess, is not entirely straightforward.

Tension caused by resentment towards the deal in Chancellor Merkel’s centre-right alliance means many may vote against formal negotiations, alongside MPs from the Left Party. A second vote on agreeing to the new assistance programme will follow the first.

“The package is neither credible nor viable,” Merkel’s fellow Christian Democrat MP Klaus-Peter Willsch told Tagesspiegel.

Willsch believes the deal merely “tapes over the cracks with lots of money”. He criticised the scope of the planned €50 billion privatisation fund. This target was in the first bailout package, but the Greeks did not even manage to reach 10 per cent of it then.

Another of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrat MPs, Wolfgang Bosbach, has confirmed that he will vote against the bailout. Both he and Willsch are repeating previous opposition to similar measures.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary Christian Democrats, also voiced his suspicion of reform pledges made by Greece’s left-wing Syriza-led government.

“I do not believe one word the Greek communists say anymore,” Friedrich told Bild.

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