Greece is facing a very difficult situation. Over the last 10 years Greece’s debt has ballooned to disproportionate levels, mainly from money borrowed from other European countries and European banks. This money was used mainly to pay salaries and interest payments with little investment initiative. In late 2009, fears developed about Greece’s ability to pay its debt obligations that led in 2010 to the first memorandum and Stability Program implemented by the European Union.
The total debt is $340 billion, which the country owes to various European countries and banks. The new socialist government that came into power in January 2015 promised to renegotiate the existing memorandum but with little luck.
On top of that, Greece had to pay back 1.6 billion euros to the IMF by the 30th of June. But it failed to do so, becoming the first developed country to fail on an IMF loan repayment.
Instead of that, Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, in order to get out of the difficult situation, proclaimed a referendum to let the citizens decide if the new austerity measures imposed by the institutions, the debtor countries of the European Union, the European central Bank and the IMF-International monetary fund,were accepted or not. Sixty-one percent of Greeks voted “no.”
After a lot of conversations on June 28, the banks were officially closed and there was a restricted amount of cash that each person was allowed to take out (withdraw) per day and that was 60 euros( capital control).
The European leaders gave Alexis Tsipras an ultimatum to either come up with a final proposal of action or face GREXIT. The proposal stated that the Greek government had to prove that the prime minister was serious about putting Greek finances in order and reforming the euro. He had to do that by Sunday July 12th, otherwise Greece would be out of the eurozone. Greece sent the EU an official plan to cut spending, raise taxes, phase out tax discounts on some tourist islands and much more.
In the meantime the prime minister had a meeting with the opposition leaders and they gave him consent to sign an agreement for Greece to stay in the Eurozone.
After a long night in Brussels, on July 12th, they managed to come to an agreement, that puts the discussion of GREXIT out of the picture and strengthening the ties between the European countries. As the French President Francois Hollande said on twitter: “the Greek program is serious, credible and shows a determination to remain in the euro area. Nothing is done,everything can be done.”
In conclusion, nearly six months after the elections of the “Syriza” party, after the banks closures and the July 5th bailout referendum Greece has a deal. Greece after all will stay in the EU and won’t have its own currency. In my opinion I can say mission accomplished.