We'll keep the blue flag flying here. Photo: Getty Images
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Grexit avoided as Greece reaches "humiliating" bailout deal with Eurozone creditors

After 16 hours of negotiations, a deal has been reached between Greece and its creditors. 

After 16 hours of negotiations, Greece and the rest of the Eurogroup this morning reached a deal on a new bailout.

"There will not be a Grexit," Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, reassured reporters. What there will be instead is €82-6bn worth of new funding, while €50bn of state assets will be privatised, with €37.5bn going to Greece's creditors and €12.5bn going to growth initiatives. Greece will have to reform its VAT arrangements and pensions, and sign up to immediate spending cuts if it breaches its targets.

The deal will be voted on by the Greek parliament by Wednesday and then ratified by the national parliaments of several other Eurozone nations.

The tough terms of the deal mean it will be controversial, with some questioning why Greek leader Alexis Tsipras accepted stringent conditions on new lending after winning a referendum on the bailout last week. Commentators have compared the harshness with the Treaty of Versailles, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said the terms strayed into "pure vindictiveness".

Germany's Angela Merkel, asked about the Versailles comparison, said that she never made "historical analogies, " while Jean-Claude Juncker said: "I don’t think that the Greek people have been humiliated and I don’t think the other Europeans were losing their face. It’s a typical European arrangement."

Exclusive: "We were set up". Read the NS interview with former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis here.

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.