Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was trying to sell a bailout proposal at home on Friday while creditors reviewed the text abroad.
According to The Guardian, Tsipras called a meeting with his ruling coalition in Athens.
“We are confronted with crucial decisions,” he said at the meeting. “We got a mandate to bring a better deal than the ultimatum that the Eurogroup gave us, but certainly not given a mandate to take Greece out of the eurozone.”
On Thursday, Tsipras surprised the world as details of the proposal began to emerge. As The New York Times explains, the proposal is essentially a capitulation “to demands on harsh austerity terms that he urged his countrymen to reject in the referendum last Sunday, like tax increases and various measures to cut the costs of pensions.”
Remember, Greek voters rejected that proposal by a wide margin and just days later their prime minister appeared to be accepting a potentially tougher deal. In balance, the three-year, 53.5 billion euro bailout also asks creditors to discuss debt relief — a point that has been opposed by some eurozone leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Reuters reports that markets received the proposal with optimism:
“The new agreement is by no means a done deal. Greece’s parliament still needs to throw its weight behind the proposals and trust with creditors needs to be rebuilt. But investors dialled down cautious trades and market volatility in Europe fell to its lowest in over two weeks.
“‘The “no” in the referendum appears to be turning into a “yes” from Tsipras,’ Commerzbank analyst Markus Koch said.
“The euro climbed 1.3 percent against the yen to 135.60 and added 0.7 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.1115.”
The Guardian reports that some German politicians expressed skepticism over the deal, but in France the mood was very different. European affairs minister Harlem Desir said the proposal put forth by Greece is “serious, credible, comprehensive.”