What now for Greece after finance plan approved?

By Ali-Haider Hussain and Ilaina Skinner

Six years after the financial crisis in Greece, today’s decision by the European Union to accept a reform plan by the new Greek Government offers hope across Europe.

The plan, which was assessed by Eurozone Finance Ministers this afternoon, included planned economic reforms in its four-month bail out extension.

Billions of Euros are expected to be raised, according to the plan, by tackling tax evasion, corruption and smuggling. Approval was given today after being scrutinised in an hour-long conference call by the finance ministers.

Now national parliaments have to vote on Friday to give approval, with Germany playing a powerful role in the voting.

What does this mean for Greece? Professor Chris Goldsmith, senior lecturer in international relations at De Montfort University, says the decision offers a big step in the right direction but warned there are many obstacles to overcome.

He said: “The Greek Government would have to compromise, that is the basis of negotiation. It’s in the basis of both parties to find some solution, so I’m vaguely optimistic.”

Chris explained that a lot of the problems are down to Greek political history and that it has been controlled by an elite group.

He said the biggest victims of the Greek crisis are the younger generations, who have very few work opportunities. But he added that there are underlying causes outside the elite which are probably making things worse, and by helping Greece, its government needs to look at its internal issues rather than externalising their problems.

“Is this going to make a huge difference?” he said, “It will make some difference. “I’m not a complete sceptic but I am being realistic about what they’re achieving.”

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