Athens torn over compromise with EU so soon after election

Tim Wallace
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GREEK leaders were divided yesterday over the compromises being agreed with other European nations, with some backing the deal to extend the bailout and others attacking the failure to stick by election vows.

Energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis voiced his opposition to any privatisations, Greek media reported, while there is also the threat of a coalition of rebel Syriza MPs joining opposition parliamentarians to stop the proposals going ahead.

They follow a 92-year-old Syriza MEP who has apologised to the public for taking part in what he called “an illusion” following the new government’s compromises.

But economic heavyweight Louka Katseli argued that the government’s willingness to negotiate shows strength.

“For the first time for a long time, the people have felt that they are talking as equals with the Eurozone,” said the economics professor, OECD director and former minister in the socialist Pasok government between 2009 and 2011. “They feel they have regained our dignity.”

Investors appeared to be impressed with progress – the Athens Stock Exchange surged 9.81 per cent yesterday.

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