The formal completion of the procedure follows a political agreement between eurozone finance ministers reached in a meeting on Monday.
“The euro area member states have today formally approved the second adjustment program for Greece,” the chairman of the eurozone finance ministers Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement. “All required national and parliamentary procedures have been finalized.”
Juncker called Greece’s second bailout a “unique opportunity for Greece that should not be missed.”
However, it should be noted that Greece was given this “unique opportunity” even after serious concerns were raised by a few EU politicians.
“You talked about how positive the last Council meeting had been – that we’ve reached the turning point, that everything is going swimmingly,” Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, said yesterday while addressing European Council President Herman van Rompuy.
“But then I realized you did not mention the D word- default,” he continued, “No, that cannot be talked about. We pretend there has not been a default. Well, we know in fact in Greece last week there was a very major credit event.”
Farage went on to list Greece’s major problems and explained why attempts to prop it up via bailouts might be misguided.
“Youth unemployment in Greece went through 50 per cent last week…10 German holders of Greek bonds are going to take legal action against the banks and against the Greek Government…the German Finance Minister saying just yesterday nobody can exclude a third bailout,” Farage explained.
“I mean this is a farcical situation. And why is it happening? That’s what people in Europe want to know. Why is this happening?” Farage asked. “Is this being done to help Greece? No, it is going to crucify Greece.”
“It is being done to prop up a failing project because you know that once Greece goes, others will go as well…when leaders stand up and say that political moves are irreversible, history has one lesson. You are always, always going to be proved to be wrong,” he concluded.
See Farage deliver his remarks via YouTube:
The European Financial Stability Facility has been authorized to release the first installment of €39.4 billion, which will be disbursed in several tranches.
Juncker said the program would “allow the Greek economy to return to a sustainable path, which is in the interest of everyone,” and called on Greece to remain committed to austerity targets set as conditions for the aid.
“The Greek authorities should… continue demonstrating strong commitment and to keep up the implementation momentum by rigorously pursuing the adjustment effort in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and privatization, strictly in line with the new programme,” Juncker’s announcement said.
[Editor’s note: portions of the above are from a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]