Now that the Greeks have taken the bitter pill, what will the European Union do to deliver the bailout? That is the question to which the world is surely looking for answers, so that the crisis can be over for the Greek people and their nation can thaw out of the deepest recession to hit any nation in modern times.
On Saturday they had a vote in the Greek parliament prior to Mr Tsipras attending the summit in Brussels. Should they agree to the Reforms in Taxation and Pensions and Retirement Age demanded by the Troika? Okay, there is no option but to agree to those terms and accept the deal, the money is desperately needed, the banks are nearly empty, and much as we don't like the austerity measures, there is no other alternative. If we don't accept the deal, we will as a nation be bankrupt in a matter of days. Not only that, we could in due time be kicked out of the Euro system - bringing back the Drachma, that would take at least two years - what would we do in the meantime, starve?? So they agreed to take the 'bitter pill' and accept the new bailout. The promise of the 38.5 Billion Euro Juncker Plan was of course very appetising. So Mr Tsipras went to Brussels, charming and confident that he would have the Greek peoples' agreement to the proposed bailout terms.
Last night, to agree to the exact terms of the deal, they again had a vote. From 251 out of 300, the majority has reduced to 231. Still, Mr Tsipras has his lawmakers' agreement to accept the deal.
After their parliament square is cleaned and polished after a bit of firecrackers with Molotov cocktails last night while the Reforms were being considered inside the parliament building, things hopefully should get back to normal. Once people are sure they won't run out of money when using the ATMs, the tourists could start to flock back to Greece, much loved destination that it is. During a normal July, British tourists there spend about 380 Million Euros in the month. Consider money from the other tourists, and there is a sizeable income Greece has.
I have suggested that the Greek economy has a base need of Five Billion Euros per month on average (counting out the millionaires and so on, who are an economy by themselves). With cash flow to get the works started, with fertile lands that enjoy sunshine all year round, this richly blessed Mediterranean nation could with a little effort be producing that monthly cash flow from their own resources and hard work.
At the moment, of course, they need the money from the ECB to fill the ATMs, recapitalise their banks, continue to pay the pensions and their public service employees, and then (or perhaps simultaneously) get down to rejuvenating their economy.
It is now clearer that the 86 Billion Euros bailout package will be delivered over three years, although the nature of the Juncker Plan gives people the hope that it will be delivered soon, to set in motion the growth through job and enterprise creation and creation of new industries, which, just like the Marshall Plan which may have inspired it, will bring a turnaround in the Greek nation's fortunes and help them find a path to Recovery and Prosperity. Thirty Six point Five Billion infused into the economy over a term of say twelve to eighteen months may produce good results. Over a shorter period? Can training and production be on board on a shorter period? That is what I believe they must consider. But whatever the time frame, it will do them a huge power of good, and the world will surely be waiting to hear further details of this.
As for the Fifty Billion Fund, more details will be forthcoming from Mr Jeroen Dijsselbloem. I feel sure they can brainstorm with bankers and famous wealthy businessmen and women on how the Fund could be created, and how it could best grow. Help from multinational corporations to set up in Greece is one idea I would suggest. Another is that perhaps the Chinese or the Qataris might be interested to invest, as may others.
In the meantime, perhaps they can look at the last two tranches of the previous bailout (second) which has not yet been delivered to Greece. If they deduct what is due to the IMF, and hand them the balance, Greece will be in a better state of financial health, with no arrears with the IMF, and some ready money to pump into their economy. I pray that the powers that be can see it fit to release these funds without hesitation.
As Europe and other nations wholeheartedly align to help Greece, I can visualise great good things happening for the whole world, with continuation of the economic Recovery, which is turning to Prosperity in some nations and will in due course blossom the world over. For that I pray.
Durudarshan H. Dadlani