Heading into the Brussels meeting, Eurogroup head and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said doubts about the wisdom of a new bailout for Greece remained, including on the part of the global Monetary Fund.
“Thus, it is equally critical for medium and long-term debt sustainability that Greece’s European partners make concrete commitments…to provide significant debt relief, well beyond what has been considered so far”.
In all, euro zone governments will lend €26 billion in the first tranche of the bailout before reviewing Greece’s compliance with their conditions in October.
Once Greece has secured financing to repay EUR3.2 billion of bonds held by the European Central Bank that fall due on August. 20, Mr. Tsipras is considering a vote of confidence to shore up his government, government officials say.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the message as a result of this deal was “loud and clear” that Greece will stay in the Eurozone.
Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos praised the deal as one that “takes Greece forward in the sense that the financial system should be much more stable from now onwards”.
Greek lawmakers wrangled through the night and into Friday morning in a parliamentary debate to approve a massive new bailout deal after repeated delays over procedure and dissent within the governing left-wing Syriza party.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin of France, which has championed a new loan, praised the Greek government.
But a revolt against leftwing PM Alexis Tsipras for agreeing to tax hikes and spending cuts demanded by global lenders, despite being elected in January on an anti-austerity ticket, could plunge the country into the uncertainty of fresh elections.
“If implemented with determination, the deal will allow the Greek economy to return to growth”, he told reporters after talks in Brussels.
Addressing MPs at the end of the bailout vote, Mr Tsipras described the €86 billion agreement with creditors as a “necessary choice” for the nation.
Thanks to support from pro-euro opposition parties, the 85-billion-euro ($128 billion) bailout program easily passed with 222 votes in the 300-seat chamber.
The biggest rebellion within the ruling party since Tsipras came to power earlier this year will reportedly force him to seek a confidence vote in the parliament next week.
The new bailout agreement was issued days before Greece nears yet another deadline. “We took the decision to remain alive instead of committing suicide and complaining how unfair it was”.
“While more than 60 percent of the popular vote is against austerity, a majority of lawmakers supports it. And that creates a political market – and potential instability”.
“Now an important precondition has been met for the process to continue”, he said.