News / Economy

Greece Seeking New Terms for EU Bailout

Rival Greek party leaders are still locked in talks to form a new coalition government - one able to address the country's crippling debt.  Despite gaining a slightly larger share of the electorate, Greece's pro-bailout parties did not win enough votes in Sunday's election to form a governing majority.  But even as Greek politicians attempt to deal with the second inconclusive election in six weeks, there are growing calls to renegotiate the tough bailout conditions imposed by the European Union.

Greek politicians are confident a power-sharing agreement is close - with discussions now shifting toward steps needed to stabilize the country's economy.  

Greek lawmaker Olga Kefalogianni says there is general consensus among the various parties that the conditions for Greece's $168 billion rescue may have been too harsh.

"Our partners must understand that they need to give us some breathing space, that reforms are necessary, but we can't work with this austerity package, which actually is keeping us in a vicious cycle of recession," said Kefalogianni.

Greece is now in the fifth year of a recession - a situation some say is tantamount to a full blown depression.  

Economist Yanis Varoufakis says it's clear that austerity measures demanded by the IMF and the European Union in exchange for two bailouts have hindered, rather than helped the Greek economy.  

"The current bailout terms and conditions have already been bypassed by economic reality, so every prediction and every hypothesis on which they were founded, those conditions have completely gone to the dogs [deteriorated]," said Varoufakis.

Despite a series of expensive bailouts to four eurozone countries, borrowing costs have risen to unsustainable levels in high debt countries such as Italy and Spain.  

Varoufakis says, without a unified and growth-centered approach to the region's debt crisis, a Greek exit from the eurozone may be just the beginning.

"Unless we do those things, there will be no eurozone to speak of," he said.

Privately, some EU officials have expressed similar concerns, one tweeting anonymously that "it would be stupid" to enforce existing bailout terms.
 
But investment manager Justin Urquhart Stewart says Greece's new government will have limited room to negotiate.

"The Greek government has to be seen to be carrying out re-negotiations of the deal, it cannot not do so," he said. 'However, there's only a limited amount they can really do.  Are they going to be able to adjust any of the core elements of the bailout package?  The answer is no."

Much will depend on Germany.  The bloc's biggest economy has already opened up the possibility of extending some payment deadlines, but at the G-2- Summit in Mexico, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her belief that the basic conditions of the deal -- essentially a sharp and timely reduction of Greece's debt to GDP ratio - is not negotiable.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9109
JPY
USD
121.50
GBP
USD
0.6467
CAD
USD
1.2293
INR
USD
63.559

Rates may not be current.