Greek lawmakers reacted angrily on Tuesday to concessions Athens offered in debt talks and parliament’s deputy speaker warned the proposals might by rejected, puncturing optimism that a deal to pull Greece back from the abyss might be sealed quickly.
Euro zone leaders welcomed new budget proposals from Athens on Monday as a basis for further negotiations to unlock billions of euros in frozen aid and avert a default that could trigger a Greek exit from the single currency area.
Stock markets also cheered, with European shares extending the previous session’s sharp rally and climbing to a three-week high on hopes of a deal. But the euro fell on fears the plan would struggle to win approval in Greek parliament.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was voted into office in January on a pledge to roll back years of austerity in a country battered by recession, must keep his leftist Syriza party as well as his creditors onside for a deal to stick.
Outspoken Syriza lawmakers voiced outrage at Tsipras’s offer to raise a range of taxes as well as pension and healthcare contributions, which threaten to further increase hardship on Greeks reeling from previous rounds of austerity.
“I believe that this program as we see it … is difficult to pass by us,” deputy parliament speaker and Syriza lawmaker Alexis Mitropoulos told Greek Mega TV.
“The prime minister first has to inform our people on why we failed in the negotiation and ended up with this result,” he said. “I believe (the measures) are not in line with the principles of the left. This social carnage … they cannot accept it.”