Greece submits request to International Monetary Fund for new loan facility

The leftwing government in Athens, which had previously vowed to never let the auditors step foot in Greece again, is understood to be irritated by demands that the creditor team is given free access to ministries and files.


Banks have re-opened after the ECB restored emergency funding last week but capital controls remain in place, hobbling companies that deal with suppliers outside Greece and highlighting the fragile state of the financial system.

Tsipras also ruled out resigning.

Katerina and George Sergidou Kokkinavis, two Syriza members in their 30s taking part in the protest, said they had come because “the government is no longer listening to the people”.

Mr Tsipras has said that he is not happy with the measures imposed by creditors but that his government was forced to choose a “difficult compromise” to avoid Greece exiting the eurozone. Major pension changes were not included in either round of reforms approved by parliament. Minor violence marred the end of the protest when a few teenagers threw petrol bombs at riot police, but no injuries or arrests were reported.

“Clearly, the negotiations will be constant until then”, she said Friday.

Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said the final third bailout agreement will be brought to Greece’s parliament for approval on August 18.

Greece is due to begin talks with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders on a new bailout deal.

On Wednesday, the European Central Bank provided a new vital cash injection to Greece’s battered banks.

Banks reopened Monday after being closed for more than three weeks, albeit for limited transactions.

With his party divided and the financial system still hobbled, Tsipras is limping along the path to aid. It almost crashed out of the eurozone this month, after relations between Athens and its creditors hit rock-bottom, and was only saved by a last-minute U-turn from Tsipras. Konstantopoulou told parliament on Thursday that Syriza had been forced “by our so-called partners” to embrace policies it is “diametrically opposed to”.

Although Greece has managed to record such a surplus for the past two years, the country is now back in recession and analysts believe a surplus will be hard to repeat this year without further, painful austerity measures, particularly in the public sector.

An increase in the number of dissenters would have left Tsipras politically hamstrung.

A first set of reforms that focused largely on tax hikes and budget discipline triggered a rebellion in Syriza last week and passed only thanks to votes from pro-EU opposition parties.

“Francois Hollande is very good at telling others how to do their reforms”, opposition French conservative Xavier Bertrand said in a dig at France’s Socialist leader, a key broker in the Greek accord. The word troika – derived from the Russian for a group of three – became so loaded that the bailout enforcers were re-baptized “the institutions” in a nod to Greek sensitivities.

Under the July 12 summit deal that kept Greece in the euro and laid the foundations for the negotiations, the creditors insisted that Tsipras return to the old way of doing business, even as they allowed him to keep the diplomatic fig-leaf of their new name.

The reforms approved Thursday are aimed at reducing the country’s court backlog and speeding up revenue-related cases.


Thursday’s vote placed Tsipras in the unenviable position of running what is not just a coalition government, but one that is effectively a minority administration.

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