Thursday 23 November 2017

Seamus Coffey: The only reason bailout deal should be voted down is because it's not tough enough


GREEK prime minister, George Papandreou, has done a strange thing in the context of the ever-deteriorating eurozone debt crisis. He has decided to ask the Greek people if the package laid out in the early hours of last Wednesday should be accepted by them. In the light of the immediate reaction to the deal in Ireland it seems equally strange that Papandreou would even have to ask the question.

The response of many Irish commentators was “where is our haircut?” or “how come Greece, which is missing all its targets, is getting a debt write-down while Ireland gets a pat on the head and remains saddled with debt?”. If the agreement was such a boon for Greece surely a referendum would only be a rubber-stamping exercise and they would openly accept a €100bn write down on their €350bn of debt.

The passing of this referendum is not a foregone conclusion and the falls in stock markets and in the value of the euro are because of these doubts. If Greece rejects the latest bail out then the deal produced last week will unravel and we will be further than ever from a resolution of the crisis.

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