Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Greece and Europe Dig In on Bailout Terms After Syriza Victory in Greek Election

Wall Street Journal
January 26, 2015

Greece and its creditors veered toward confrontation as its new, leftist government pledged to make good on promises to reverse years of public-spending cuts despite warnings from Berlin and other European capitals that doing so could plunge the country, and Europe, into deeper crisis.

Europe’s political establishment sought to show respect for the will of the Greek people on Monday while also swiftly moving to douse hopes in Athens that it would substantially relax the country’s bailout terms, which many Greeks blame for their economy’s deep malaise.

“There are rules, there are agreements,“ German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said of the framework for Greece’s financial rescue. “Whoever understands these things knows the numbers, knows the situation.”

Europe’s resolute response is driven in part by concern that such a step would invite other bailout recipients, including Portugal and Ireland to demand similar concessions and further erode the eurozone’s credibility.


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