The new Eurogroup agreement commits Greece to 40 more years of austerity and supervision.
by Jerome Roos
Shortly before coming to power in January 2015, Alexis Tsipras – then still known as an outspoken Greek opposition leader and unconventional anti-austerity firebrand – vowed not to wear a tie until international lenders agreed to cut his country’s towering debt load to sustainable levels.
On Friday evening, the 43-year-old prime minister, who has since presided over three years of highly unpopular austerity measures in return for a third EU bailout, finally donned a burgundy piece of neckwear as he addressed a group of political allies in Athens to celebrate the conclusion of a new debt deal with European creditors.
The agreement, signed in the early hours of Friday, extends Greece’s most pressing loan maturities by 10 years and provides a further 15 billion euros ($17.5bn) in EU financing. By boosting the government’s cash reserves and pushing its first repayments back to 2033, the decision is expected to provide Greece with much-needed breathing room before a return to international capital markets following the expiration of its bailout programme in August