Eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday approved Greece’s plan meant to ease the hardships created by its international bailout, extending that loan program by four more months.
In revising the terms of the bailout program, the new Greek government pledged to take a disciplined approach to budgets, spending and tax collection, while remaining committed to relieving the “humanitarian crisis” caused by years of economic hardship and high unemployment. Many Greeks blame the austerity-budget requirement of the bailout program, agreed to by a previous government, for those privations.
But in trying to achieve that delicate balance — to meet the demands of its European creditors in order to keep the loan money flowing, but without reneging on the anti-austerity campaign promises on which it was elected in January — the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may find a difficult road ahead.
The finance ministers of the 19 euro-currency countries, who last Friday had agreed to consider an extension of Greece’s 240 billion euro, or $272 billion, loan program, on Tuesday afternoon quickly approved the subsequent plan.