Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on a visit to Luxembourg got the good news from Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, that Athens will receive more bailout money – first the next tranche of the 110 billion euros it has been promised and likely further help after that.
Juncker said the finance would be given under strict conditions, including more privatisations of state assets and that the private sector should share the burden.
Juncker told reporters: “I expect the Eurogroup to agree to additional financing to be provided to Greece, under, of course, strict conditions. This will include private sector involvement on a voluntary basis.”
That would mean investors who bought Greek government bonds sharing the bailout burden, perhaps by accepting a cut in the value of their holdings or by extending the time before they get their money.
But that would be enough to pacify many Greeks, including those Communist Party members who occupied the Finance Ministry in Athens on Friday. They complained that the austerity measures that are a condition of the bailout are hitting the people and making things worse.