Friday 19 January 2018

Q&A: Default still on the cards, despite vote for austerity

What was the vote about?

The European Union and International Monetary Fund, which are keeping Greece afloat with loans, demanded that the government impose €28bn of tax rises, privatisation measures and cuts to show that the Greeks were serious about reforming an economy dragged down by lack of competitiveness and a huge state sector dogged by corruption. The message was 'do it, or else' from the EU paymasters, whose handouts are vital.

An emergency meeting on Sunday will sign off the next €12bn instalment, the fifth, of a €110bn EU-IMF bailout agreed last year. This cash injection will stop Greece going bankrupt on July 15 and defaulting on its €350bn debt.

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