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Will Greek aid lifeline revive or harm?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 02:25

July 9 - Greece secures a lifeline from the euro zone and the IMF but is told it must keep its promises on cutting public sector jobs and selling state assets to get all the cash. As Sonia Legg reports the deal may be good for the euro zone but it's not going down well with the country's public sector workers.

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It may be a lifeline for Greece but for some public sector workers the new bailout agreement with the euro zone is more like a death sentence. Thieves, thieves they shout outside the Interior Ministry after hearing about their upcoming dismissals. WORKER REACTING TO CAMERA AND SAYING: "We are not numbers, we are families with children, we are the ones who voted for them so they could govern, we will be the ones to make them fall." And there's more of this to come. Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels agreed the latest 6.8 billion euro instalment subject to Greece keeping to its promise to cut public sector jobs and sell state assets. EU Commissioner Olli Rehn. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS OLLI REHN, SAYING: "It is time to step up the momentum of reform in Greece and support the return of confidence for the sake of sustainable growth and job creation." But almost two in every three under 25s in Greece is currently out of work. Many won't be thanking Greece's Finance Minister however brave his face. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER YANNIS STOURNARAS, SAYING; "We got the approved package that we had in the May programme, so we are fully satisfied. Well, of course, if somebody wants to give us 10 more billion we would welcome this." The money will be paid in instalments - the first 2.5 billion by July 19. Rabobank's Jane Foley says that's good for the euro zone as a whole but not Greece. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JANE FOLEY, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, SAYING: "I think this is a compromise deal - they are going to be given the money but it is clearly going to be drip fed to them and clearly this will prevent - hopefully - any escalation of any crisis, but it does mean that they are still being pressured really quite hard to keep on going through with these reforms." Greece is expected to return to growth next year, just, But Athens had been counting on this last big instalment of the 240 billion euro bailout being paid in one go. Rehn denies that trickling funds will derail the recovery. But as municipal workers staged a second day of strike action it was clear sticking to the terms of the agreement will be tough. State assets are proving hard to sell too - natural gas company DEPA the latest firm left on the shelf And exports, investment and tourism have yet to show any sign of a recovery.

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Will Greek aid lifeline revive or harm?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 02:25