- Title: Greeks say Eurogroup decision on debt relief too little, see endless measures
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (DECEMBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON ATHENS MAIN SYNTAGMA SQUARE/GREEK PARLIAMENT IN BACKGROUND GREEK FLAG ON TOP OF PARLIAMENT GREEK FLAG VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING BY FOUNTAIN ON SQUARE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, SPIROS SAKOS, A PENSIONER, SAYING: "Well, after what happened in Italy, I think (the Eurogroup decision) was to Greece's advantage in general, not specifically for the government, but it was in our favor because the German government backed off a little." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, KONSTANTINOS CHRISTODOULOU, A PENSIONER, SAYING: "I don't think it's going very well, I don't think so, this is an endless story, negotiation after negotiation, and in the end the Greek people are the ones paying once again. There is never any conclusion, that's what I would like to say, there is no conclusion so that we will be able to know that we are at the end." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, 58-YEAR-OLD VASSILIS VAROUTAS, AN ECONOMIST, SAYING: "I don't think it was a victory, because first of all, the long time-frame they give for this debt relief is a lot, 2060 is far away. And I don't think this is a win for them, there are many other preconditions they have to fulfill, so I don't think this is a victory for this government, they still have to do many things." NEWSPAPERS HANGING AT A KIOSK THE 'EDITOR'S' NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: (Greek) "HAPPY/SAD: DEBT RELIEF, BUT THREAT OF (MORE) MEASURES FROM 2018" ETHNOS NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: (Greek) "BREATHER ON DEBT, QUESTIONS OVER (NEW) MEASURES" NEWSPAPERS HANGING KATHIMERINI NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: (Greek) "LIGHT DEBT RELIEF AND HEAVY MEASURES"
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 11:01
- Keywords: Eurogroup Greece debt relief measures austerity Italy
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BQXB2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Some Greeks on Tuesday (December 6) said the debt relief euro zone finance ministers agreed to for Athens was too little, and they feared continuous austerity measures.
In a meeting in Brussels on Monday (December 5) Greece's lenders agreed to some debt relief for Greece but they were divided on the reforms it must undertake to reach fiscal targets, leaving it unclear if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will join the Greek bailout program.
"I don't think it's going very well, I don't think so, this is an endless story, negotiation after negotiation, and in the end the Greek people are the ones paying once again. There is never any conclusion, that's what I would like to say, there is no conclusion so that we will be able to know that we are at the end," said pensioner Konstantinos Christodoulou.
Another Athens resident, economist Vassilis Varoutas, said he didn't view the debt relief decision as a victory for the government, as it was a long time frame, and there were many preconditions the government had to meet.
One resident said however that considering the tensions in Italy following a referendum, the decisions were positive for Greece as he believed Germany showed some leniency.
The short-term debt relief measures, to be applied before 2018, could reduce the country's debt to gross domestic product ratio by around 20 percentage points in 2060. But the 19 finance ministers of the currency bloc did not agree with Athens on how to implement various reforms, in particular an overhaul of labor market rules that would make it easier to fire workers. Talks to more substantially reduce Greek debt - at about 180 percent of GDP, the highest in the euro zone - through an extension of maturities would not be held until 2018 either.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is increasingly unpopular after applying a range of austerity measures agreed with EU creditors. Tsipras' party is trailing behind the opposition conservatives, after being elected for its anti-austerity platform but then implemented a number of strict reforms including heavy taxation.
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