(Greece) – The European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece is on the right path when it comes to making the necessary changes and reforms required of the European lenders. Greece’s international lenders have said that in order for Greece to receive badly needed bailout funds, they needed to agree to a series of austerity measures and conditions. In general, the international creditors believe that the way to help Greece’s economy get back on track is for the country to reduce government spending and to increase revenue.
The austerity measures have been controversial, especially amongst the Greek people who have experienced tax hikes, pension cuts, and salary reductions. Despite that, the Greek government has agreed to the conditions because they need the bailout money to help manage their debt. The latest wave of bailout funds from the third bailout has just been released. Greece needs this money to make loan payments to the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank that are coming due soon. People have been protesting and going on strike off and on since the first wave of austerity occurred back in 2010 with the first bailout. Still, the current government has maintained that it is doing the best thing to secure a prosperous future.
The European Commission President told Prime Minister Tsipras that, “Today Greece is on the right path, results are encouraging. The Greek government, parliament and the Greek people should have real ownership of the programs that are being applied.” After some internal debate, the Greek Parliament voted and agreed to all the austerity measures required of them, including a massive privatization deal for the abandoned Hellinikon Airport in Athens. Tsipras referred to Juncker as, “true friend of Greece and steady champion of the European ideal.” Prime Minister Tsipras has said that he believes that the bailouts and reforms are necessary to encourage future growth.