Long-Awaited Deal Between EU and Greece

Steven Petrov

The Paw Print

In the last decade, Greece has slowly turned into one of the European Union’s major internal problems, with the huge amounts of national debt that the country has accumulated to various financial institutions. The South Eastern country used to be one of the wealthiest countries in the eastern part of Europe with the highest standard of living. However, the economic situation now is much different and Greece’s total amount of debt equals more than 170% of their GDP, making it seemingly impossible to ever pay it back. With the progressively worsening economy, Greek citizens needed a political as well as an economical change, which they found in the face of Alexis Tsipras and his newly formed “Syriza” political party. The radical leftist “Syriza” won a lot of its support after publicly stating its intentions and plans to restore the Greek economy, at any costs even if that means an official exiting of the European Union. The statement was well received from the majority of the country’s desperate population that has waited for some change in a long time, but was strongly opposed by the European union and its member countries.

The European Union was officially founded in 1993 after the signing of the treaty of Maastricht, which established the organization’s current name and also introduced the European citizenship. For 22 years of existence the EU has never been faced with the possibility of having a member exit the union. It has continuously increased the country members that are part of the EU, currently standing at 28. The main reason lies within each and every country’s desire to be part of the free-trade and economically independent union, which allows citizens of different countries to freely move from one country to another and legally work and develop professionally anywhere within the union. However, the Maastricht Treaty also has many different economical standards that every new member must first reach in order to be officially accepted into the union. The reason for that is to add only politically and economically stable countries, in order to prevent any negative influence, which could hurt the international organization’s future.

Since the beginning of the new year, the regulatory institutions in a combination with the parliaments of all members of the European Union have been working hard towards coming up with a plan for helping the Greek economy through various political and economical measures, so that the new governing party (Syriza) has enough time to adapt to this delicate and extremely important situation for Greece. The meeting on February 20th, held in Brussels between the EUROGROUP and the Greek leaders, has ended up with an agreement to extend Greece’s rescue program with 4 months. The agreement requires Greece to fulfill certain requirements and restrictions involving the need of the Greek parliament to come up with a list of national reforms that would help the country to get out of the crisis it is in right now. Alexis Tsipras and his ministers are also forbidden to take any one-sided actions that might have a negative impact on the country’s budget goals. Greece has also been obligated to fully fulfill any single financial obligation to all of its creditors.

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