Mixed feelings surround decisions in Europe
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Steve Chiotakis: European inspectors say Greece can receive the next installment of bailout loans in November. That’ll prevent Greece from defaulting, but there’s a bigger question today of whether there’ll still be a large Eurozone bailout fund. And for the answer to that, we look to Slovakia, where the final eurozone vote to ratify the bailout plan is about to take place.
The BBC’s Andrew Walker is with us now from London. Hi Andrew.
Andrew Walker: Hello there.
Chiotakis: So first off — Greece must be happy
with the decision today, right — that it can get these bailout funds?
Walker: The government is certainly going to be very relieved — although frankly, I think the idea that the money wouldn’t be forthcoming was pretty much inconceivable because of the financial damage that would have been done across the eurozone as a result is not something that the IMF or the European Union would want to tolerate.
For the wider Greek population, I think you’ll find there are some pretty mixed feelings there. This next installment has required Greece to make some more commitments to very tough, unpopular decisions — economic reforms, and cuts in public spending that a lot of people are bitterly opposed to.
Chiotakis: We know, Andrew, this critical vote in Slovakia
is about to begin at any moment. Do we have any idea of what could come from this?
Walker: What I think is going to happen there is that it looks like one part of the governing coalition is going to vote against it. There certainly is a concern that bailouts will be in — expanding the bailout fund will be subject to difficulty because the rules currently do require consent from all 17 eurozone countries. But it does look like if it really comes to the crunch, part of the opposition will support it — it’s just that it might bring down the government in the process.
Chiotakis: The BBC’s Andrew Walker joining us from London. Andrew, thanks.
Walker: My pleasure.
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