Greece’s most crucial week has started and there is an odd and unusual lack of information about the progress of negotiations. No fuss, no buzz, no provocative or undermining tones. A cloud of suspicious silence has spread over Athens, Brussels and Berlin. Or all sides suddenly grew up.
Both sides, Greece and creditors, that is, keep their lips tight towards the media. Information comes by the dropper.
Athens is “cautiously optimistic” about reaching the much anticipated agreement with the much anticipated bailout money in the next days. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a reletive short teleconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande Sunday afternoon.
Not much information came out about the content of the talk except that the three leaders agreed on the need that an agreement has to be reached “quickly”.
Of course. Greece has to pay €300 million back to the International Monetary Fund next Friday, June 5th. Otherwise, a credit event threatens, an exit from the eurozone, an exit from the European Union, an exit from the European map and a catapulting right into the middle of the outer space. Right into the middle of a parallel universe with parallel currency, parallel capital controls, parallel IOUs, parallel bankrupcty and parallel souvlaki-gyros.
According to Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, the European Commission sent a draft to the Greek side, a draft containing austerity measures worth 3.5 billion euro for 2015. The draft is reportedly based on the Eurogroup agreement of 20. February 2015 and contains all these issues still on the negotiations table: the Value Added Tax, the unified property tax (ENFIA), labor and social security reforms, as well as the IMF’s demand for further cuts in main and supplementary pensions.
The draft text was sent last Saturday with the aim to form the “basis for negotiations in order to reach the agreement”.
But the Greek government insists on its “red lines” among them no further pensions cuts and definitely seeks to reach an agreement based on a political decision taken by EU’s driving force Germany and its French satellite.
Friend of Greece, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker will meet with Merkel and Hollande Monday afternoon in Berlin. They will talk “Greece”.
And then we might know more. Whether we are officially bankrupt by Friday or we continue to struggle.
I have not much to report by now – midday Monday.
Except that slowly the usual blackmailing starts to make the rounds again. Tactics as always. Indicative it the Tweet by Austrian’s Der Standart correspondent in Brussels claiming cancelling of a eurogroup meeting due “offended” eurogroup partners:
no meeting of eurogroup ministers this week, they say. seems far from agreement, after #tsipras le-monde-attack against partners
— Thomas Mayer (@TomMayerEuropa) June 1, 2015
The reference was on Alexis Tsipras op-ed “Europe at Crossroads”
The sound of Greece’s progress silence
Beside sitting under tables for “leaks” this Thomas Mayer is something very special, sometimes he writes in Brussels articles from the streets of Athens, hours later the article will be updated with a 2nd name from Athens; I guess the 2nd one wrote it while flying in from Ankara and both hope to get future jobs at Bild-tabloid or invested against Greece.
“Friend of Greece, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker” was this a sarcastic comment? Are you joking? Please do not confuse the “good cop” in the “bad cop, good cop” routine with a friend! At least the “bad cop” Schauble his honest about its part on the plot…
you’re right. it should have been self-proclaimed Friend
Anyway keep ut the good work. Although I disagree with a lot of what you say, this is a very good source of information about the “Greek eurozone Odyssey”.