The Latest: Greek Lawmakers' Debate on Austerity Is Delayed

Alexis Tsirpas

The latest on Greece's financial crisis (all times local):


8:30 p.m.

Greece's parliament speaker has called a meeting that is delaying a Parliament debate on austerity cuts demanded by creditors.

Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou has called a chairmen's conference — a meeting of the speaker, her deputies and committee chairmen — pushing back the expected start of Wednesday night's austerity debate for more than two hours. Konstantopoulou had earlier urged lawmakers to try to obstruct or block the vote, describing it as the result of "blackmail" by international lenders.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is being openly defied by dissenters in his governing Syriza party who are urging him not to sign up for a third bailout.


7:50 p.m.

French legislators have approved the bailout deal meant to prevent Greece's economy from collapsing.

Speaking before the vote Wednesday in France's National Assembly, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the 85-billion-euro ($94 billion) bailout "is vital to give Greece the breathing room it needs to imagine a future that's not only about paying back its debt."

Valls said the eurozone is considering measures to help Greece, including lengthening the payback period on its debt or lowering the interest rate.


3:55 p.m.

The German government is arguing that one possible way to help Greece meet its financial obligations in coming days, before a full bailout program is established, is for the country to issue IOUs for domestic needs.

Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said Wednesday that "we have included this element in the discussion" among eurozone nations on how to keep Greece afloat while talks proceed on the details of a full bailout deal. The talks are expected to last weeks.

Jaeger says that IOUs are just one of "various conceivable approaches."

Greece needs short-term financing among other things to repay a loan to the European Central Bank due next week and to clear arrears with the International Monetary Fund.


3:45 p.m.

More than half of the governing left-wing Syriza party's central committee has signed a statement slamming the agreement Greece reached with its European creditors earlier this week, describing it as a coup against their nation by European leaders.

The statement, signed by 109 of the committee's 201 members, says the agreement was "the result of threats of immediate financial strangulation" and is a new bailout with "humiliating terms of supervision, destructive for our country and its people."

Greece's parliament is expected to vote Wednesday on the austerity bill required to get a new bailout package.

"On July 12 a coup was carried out in Brussels that proved that the aim of the European leadership was the exemplary annihilation of a people who envisaged that another path could be followed beyond the neoliberal model of extreme austerity," the statement says. "A coup that goes directly against any kind of notion of democracy and popular sovereignty."


3:15 p.m.

Germany says eurozone leaders were aware of the International Monetary Fund's analysis of Greece's debt situation when they drew up a preliminary bailout package and that, while Berlin takes the IMF's conclusions seriously, its position isn't new.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...