The Greek parliament passed a second bill on July 23 including measures needed for Greece to open negotiations over the eurozone's bailout package of 86 billion euros, TeleSUR English said that day.
For the past couple of days I have been trying to understand what is happening in Greece. I shared the celebratory atmosphere after January’s elections [of the SYRIZA government] and the sense of hope and dignity that seemed to be restored following the destruction that led to one-third of the population living in poverty. The SYRIZA government inherited a country with a population devastated by austerity but, most importantly, with a sense of power for having chosen its future.
“The conduct of a number of EU governments over the past number of weeks has been alarming,” president of Irish republican party Sinn Fein and member of the Irish Dail (parliament) Gerry Adams said on the outcome of the European Union summit, which ended Greece submitting to a harsh deal. “They have effectively closed down the Greek banking system and held the Greek Government and people to ransom.
Members of the European Parliament show support for Greece against its creditors. "This debate is not exclusively about one country," said the Greece's left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a speech to the European Parliament on July 8. "It is about the future of our common construction."
Supports of the 'no' vote celebrate in Athens on the night of July 5. Leaders of Latin American left-wing governments have congratulated the Greek government and its people after Greece's historic July 5 referendum. Voters rejected debt austerity proposals by Greece's European lenders. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the SYRIZA-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015, on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the Troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. We support the call of SYRIZA for a “no vote” as the only option for the people of Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over the country's economy and their own future.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on June 26 that a referendum will be called over the bailout deal being proposed for the country by Greece's creditors. The deal is pushed by the "Troika" of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. Tsipras called an urgent cabinet meeting earlier that day, and later announced to the press plans for the a referendum on July 5. Citizens will be asked “yes” or “no” to creditors’ proposals. Tsipras has asked the Greek ministerial council to call the referendum.
Thousands protest in Athens against austerity and in support of the SYRIZA government, June 17. Thousands of Greek people took to the streets of Athens on June 17 to reject austerity measures and support the SYRIZA-led government, TeleSUR English said that day.
For a while in late May, it looked as if negotiations over terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed to Greece under its second bailout package with the “Troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund might have some chance of success. The commentary from the SYRIZA-led Greek government's negotiators and from its creditors was of “fruitful discussions” and “meaningful progress”. Greek government spokespeople even spoke of reaching an agreement “within a week or two”, at the latest by the June 18 meeting of the eurozone finance ministers.
Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement?