The meeting between the leaders of Greece’s coalition government about the bailout deal has been postponed until Wednesday.
They were meant to meet with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Tuesday evening to sign-off on the agreement being negotiated with the troika of EU and IMF negotiators.
Only after the coalition leaders approve can Greece receive the 130 billion euro rescue package it needs to avoid a messy default.
Nevertheless, many think neither the talks nor the money will help ordinary Greeks. One person who holds that view is Ilias Vrettakos, deputy head of the main civil servants’ union ADEDY.
“The deal is happening for the sole purpose of limiting government costs so they will have more money for lenders. But, by doing this, they’re limiting basic public and social benefits like education, health, social insurance and social welfare,” Vrettakos said.
The deadline for talks between the government and troika was meant to be on Monday, but after Greece’s government postponed it, there were signs that eurozone officials were starting to lose patience.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said time was of the essence and Greece should hurry in making its mind up – perhaps making it easy to understand why her country’s flag was being burnt by Greeks on the streets of the capital on Tuesday.
All of this is taking place against the backdrop of another general strike, during which anti-austerity protesters have clashed with police in Athens. Tear gas was used to prevent an attempt to break through a police cordon outside the parliament building.