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Greece Reaches Another Bad Deal with Its Lenders

May 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Greece and its creditors reached yet another disastrous deal today that allows the release of bailout funds that go directly to the banks, especially the European Central Bank. Greece’s Finance Minister, the hapless Euclid Tsakalotos, told reporters:

"There was white smoke. The negotiations for a technical deal were concluded on all issues ... the way has now been paved for debt-relief talks."

Of course, there is no official statement on debt-relief talks anytime soon. The release of €7.5 billion is to pay debt maturing in July, most of which will be going to the European Central Bank.

The agreement calls for cutting pensions in 2019 and cutting the tax-free threshold in 2020 to produce savings worth 2% of Gross Domestic Product. Only after the agreement successfully extracts more blood will Greece be allowed to activate a set of measures that theoretically offset the impact of the additional austerity, which includes mainly lowering taxes.

In a draft document seen by Reuters, the International Monetary Fund says Greece can reach a primary surplus of 2.2% in 2018 and aim at the absurd level of 3.5% annually in 2019-2021.

It is not surprising that a recent poll shows continuing disenchantment with the European Union, according to a recent survey of European attitudes by the Eurobarometer. While 34% of those polled said belonging to the EU is a good thing, 32% said the opposite; 33% said EU membership is neither good nor bad. This compares to the EU average, in which 57% say belonging to the EU is a good thing, as opposed to 14% who express the opposite opinion.