By Theo Ioannou
In a report about Greece’s new omnibus bill and a potential break from its bailout in August 2018, German newspaper Handelsblatt claims the country will remain under lenders’ supervision for another 40 years.
The newspaper says the enormous bill, which was introduced to parliament on Tuesday and is expected to be put to vote next Monday, is highly detailed but lawmakers have not been given enough time to scrutinize it.
“The plan is that the multi-bill will pass from the Greek parliament before the next Eurogroup meeting on January 22, so that Greece’s lenders can release the next €5.5 billion bailout tranche, leading the country out of its bailout obligations by August 2018,” the paper notes.
It adds that the short time afforded to lawmakers to study the bill and debate it is exactly what Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras needs for a smooth vote. The German paper also notes protests and strikes against the bill scheduled for next Friday and Monday.
In spite of the fact the bill will lead to further wage and pension cuts, as well as tax increases, the government majority in parliament — despite vocal unhappiness from some of Tsipras’ own SYRIZA lawmakers — is expected to vote for it, the report says.
“Tsipras has pledged to his supporters that the country will break its austerity vicious circle next August and throw out its despised lenders for good,” the report adds. “But with the country committed to more austerity measures until 2022, that is self-delusion.”
“A total of 80% of the Greek debt remains in the hands of the country’s lenders,” Handelsblatt concludes. “This means that until Greece pays up its debt, which, with today’s rates it will manage to do by 2059, the country will be under its lenders’ financial supervision.”