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Dijsselbloem: Deal with Greece not at hand yet, rejects debt write-off

While the Greek government awaits for a creditors’ response to the reforms proposals it submitted late Monday, head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem spoke and said: Deal with Greece is not at hand yet.

Speaking to Dutch RTL Nieuws, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said:

1. It is was not certain whether Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would meet the French and German leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.

2. “I’ve heard a lot of optimism from the Greek side, and it’s an underestimation of the complexity of what’s being asked of them.”

 3.  “We’re not even in agreement about what still has to happen before the end of this month.”

4. Greece has room to arrange its own budget as long as it doesn’t require further funding from other countries and as long as its spending is under control.

5. the Greek pension system “simply must be modernised” as it is not sustainable.

6.He rejected discussion of forgiving Greek debts. “We must now really look at the final issues that are on the table and that we are prepared to look at.”

7. “If the Greeks are ready to come with serious proposals we can go on, and otherwise the process will lie still.”  via reuters.

Of course, it is not up to Dijsselbloem to decide at any of the above mentioned issues. He is just the modus operandi of the eurozone finance ministers.

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51 comments

  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    As the so called haircut PSI resulted in 25-27 billion losses in pension funds and sending tens of thousands early into retirement was wanted by Troika, who again made the pension system not sustainable? Dieselboom’s lackeys?

  2. Greece is just better supported Albania. Second largest EU funds receiver. Its real economic strength (without EU support) is howewer comparable to the region – Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria. Thus also salaries and pensions must be similar otherwise their fiscal system not sustainable. Of course they do not want to see it.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      If you wanna feel a stampede or just go straight to a madhouse you should tell this the 500.000 people from Bulgaria, Romania and Albania that still live and work in Greece, not to mention all the companies and banks that will go blast on the United States of Balkans when the Greek money there gets frozen.
      The first thing Greece should do when get kicked out might be to take huge taxes on all the shit that goes from Turkey to Adria roundabout on expensive but perfect motorways.

      • I agree that collecting tolls on the highways (or any other fees for the services rendered) is perfectly reasonable. I was surprised a few years ago when I passed through the toll booths on Egnatia Motorway and they were not manned. (Possibly the toll booth attendants were on strike at the time).

        Of course, it is the Greeks that will pay most of the tolls.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          egnatia had the booth tools set up later. In contrast: at Corinth – Patras highway people have been paying tools for years in advance! the highway is not ready yet.

      • THX for answer.
        Yes – typical. If you move an average person to high position, he (she) will sooner or later think it is because of his (her) abilities. The same with Greeks. Even NOW Greece is receiving abour 5 billions EUR/y from EU budget (second largest portion after Poland) Indirectly other billions from non market cheap funding (ECB and EU). It is about 7-10 billions EUR/y in total. All that from bloody imperialists and German fascists. Give this money to Bulgaria and after 20-30 years of donations Greeks will be gastarbeiters there. You are not something more than your region, you were just lucky to have support instead of bolshevism.

        • I could not agree more.

          Too many in Greece are flying high and do not want to realize the risk of a crash landing.

          But in historic dimensions, would be interesting to see what (yet another) communism attempt would make out of this country. I would expect that the fall behind the rest of the Balkans quicker than Syriza can cry “Help, you facists, Nazis, Capitalists and Neo-Liberalists to tackle our humanitarian crisis!”

          • In my opinion Bulgars or Macedonians might speak about poor Greeks in 20 years from now, if Greeks will not wake up soon.
            Let us not forget, that Syriza is probably not much more than just a Russian vehicle (like Le Pen in France, separatist in Italy, Orban in Hungary, Zeman in Czechia, Fico in Slovakia e.t.c.).

          • keeptalkinggreece

            your opinion is kind of confusing as Macedonians are Greeks.

          • How do you call citizens of FYR Macedonia? I call them Macedonians. But I may start to call them FYR Macedonians:))) if this will change Greek economic situation.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Macedonia

          • keeptalkinggreece

            FYROMians

          • Well, historically (as Alexander conquered all the Greek city states) all Greeks are Macedonians.Until 1913 all residents of the region known as Macedonia were Ottoman subjects; during the first world war the entire region (including the current Greek territory) was Bulgarian; from 1918 the region of Macedonia was split between several countries, including Greece and Yugoslavia. From 1944, the smaller part of the region in Bulgarian-occupied Yugoslavia was named Democratic Macedonia, later renamed The People’s Republic of Macedonia in 1945. With the collapse of the FRY, in 1991 the non-Greek part of the region was established as the Republic of Macedonia, which Greece refuses to recognise.

            The fact is that Macedonia never was Greek; even Alexander was accepted as a Greek solely by virtue of his education by Aristotle. His father, king Philip, was considered a barbarian. The complex situation is something that Greeks need to think about — because that is how you have peace with your neighbours, not by denying history. (And I am saying nothing about the fake history put forward by some Slavs in the Rep. of Macedonia: this is also provocative).

            But the bottom line is that not all Macedonians are Greeks (although quite a few are).

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Separatists in Italy are more like the Basques, Catalan or Corsican, on Sicily they are more kinda Anarchists like the ones of Sardinia, and like all very, very unfriendly to Putin and how many million Euro did Syriza get? Surely more than Le Pen to bribe all these corrupt voters. Anyway it’s obvious that these real separatists all have one in common: Their own language.

          • My point is: Greeks are playing Russian game without seeing it.

            (I do not care about Lega Nord or Le Pen e.t.c. but to have an overview – for example Orban is not leftist at all and he used to be also very anti Russian 15 years ago. In fact he was one of the leaders of anti communist movement. The same apply to another probably Russian agent – former Czech president Václav Klaus)

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            That’s bullshit as there are living too many Greeks in South-Eastern Ukraine, alone in Mariupol – 100.000 double confronted with barricades against Russian and Ukrainian nazionalists.

          • Russian game in Greece is Syriza.

      • Regarding the banking system impact: I agree the repercussions will probably be significant — particularly, for Bulgaria, where 28% of bank assets are owned by Greek banks. While the local affiliates of Greek banks were required to sell all Greek assets, it is still likely that the depositors will withdraw their savings if they perceive there is a risk to the banks from Grexit. A bank run could make these local affiliates insolvent and will require their bailout by the local regulators / central banks.

        • Yes, but this just confirms, Greece has no economic strength. That banking expansion was just a bubble created by EU funding with low money control and by cheap borrowing possibility after Greece entered Eurozone (on false statistics).

          • keeptalkinggreece

            interesting enough the same EU-funded bubble happened in Portugal and Spain, with the same EU low money control. find the similarities.

          • Yes the same pattern of wasting. But they decided to pay debts at least. Therefore Greece can not get more money without real changes in VAT social system e.t.c., otherwise Spain and Italy will follow the Greek way.

            No other choice. Greece is just 1,8 percent of EU GDP (not impotratnt), but Italy and Spain this would be catastrophic.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Greece never “entered” the Eurozone, that’s pure German propaganda spin. Greece was a member from the beginning, only the process took one year longer.
            Also the false numbers is a hoax, if you check Anglo-Saxon media you will find out that most writings about “cooked books” come with a question mark as the deal with Goldman was in 2002 but the numbers must have been faked years before to make sense regarding the Euro.

          • In 1998 eleven member states of the European Union had met the euro convergence criteria, and the eurozone came into existence with the official launch of the euro (alongside national currencies) on 1 January 1999.

            —– Greece qualified in 2000 —–

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurozone

  3. The Greek government tries to shift their obligations to the ECB and the IMF towards the ESM, in an obvious attempt to get relief from reform pressure and to become the perpetual charity case of Europe. – Do they think they are dealing with idiots?

    Europe can’t and won’t let this happen.

    The damage to the Euro has already been done and we find ourselves now in a situation, where the common currency would gain strength by solving a problem once and for all instead of endless uncertainity and undecisiveness.

    The Greek governement unwillingly has prepared ground for a permanent solution by clearly demonstrating a future scenario of neverending uncertainity by promoting ever more shameless demands.

    Enough is enough and better and end with a shock for the Euro than giving in to eternal blackmail.

    One more thing: it is a simple miscalculation of the Greek government that a default would let the Greek debt vanish. Exactly the other way round: the burden would become bigger as the inflow of Euros would be capped. – 75% of the Greek consumer goods are imported. How does Greece intend to pay them when every transaction abroad is seized by hedge-funds and holdouts?

    Greece would become a failed stated, unable to pay any obligations abroad and fall behind 3rd world countries.

    Let’s see, if the Greek voter then still blames Troika and Austerity. My prediction: the clientilism conglomerate Syriza – pensioners, civil servants, unempolyed and other economic liabilities – will fall apart quicker, than the ATMs are empty.

    If there is really a risk of contagion, the ESM is better saved for Ireland and Portugal – who deserve the bailouts way more than radicals unwilling to reform.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      did you read it earlier? I will have to charge you a fee for allowing you to post in my blog (server, maintenance etc).

      • This should ensure a balance of opinions in the comments of your blog, right?

        Or is it meanwhile a bit difficult to counter my arguments and support the Syriza propaganda?

        • keeptalkinggreece

          balance yes, but this is a non-stop anti-Greek propaganda often with racist approach. In this sense you exploit my blog as a platform to promote your ideas instead of creating your own one with all the expenses and responsibility.

          • I think that expelling people with different opinion is not in a good manner of democracy (that maybe I should remind Greeks invented long time ago). We should always try to discuss different views even when we don’t like them, and not just ban them.

            KG… yes, this is your blog, and you can and should post on it your ideas, views and thoughts. But on the other hand it is also publicly accessible and open to comment from all of us. Specially when those comments are rarely insulting but just paint the bleak reality and show real dangers (sorry, I don’t see racist approach… pls point me to that one). It is obvious that some are finding this offending, and then they reply with really hard personally offending comments (that I must notice you have never punished), and I don’t recall that Chris ever responded to them on the same (veery low) level of communication.

            Anyway if you want to ban him (and also few others), of course you can, but then at least be brave enough and put in header of the page that accessing/commenting to this blog is forbidden for … (and here you list all your “persona non grata” attributes)

            Hope that this comment will not be banned.

            Thanks

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            To call Greece and Greeks “parasites” is not racist? And all the other slime, that’s the same language as used against Jews

          • Don’t remember that specific comment (but ok, I haven’t read all comments here for sure), but anyway I totally agree with you that that specific comment should be removed and who posted it warned (but along with that, for sure all the other personally insulting ones like the one just bellow).

          • Which posting?

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            It was not only one post you were referring to Greeks as “cadgers”

          • And for the sake for creating some outrage, you make “parasites” out of “cadgers”.

            A bankruptcy declaration of your discussion ethics.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            You’d better watch out for your raisins unless it’s not goat-shit you eat like words, no matter if you call a whole people parasites or cadgers it’s the same racist scum-bumfuck.
            And I hope that you behave like this in the subway and some folks will kick out the jams out of your puckface.

        • @Chris: I don’t think someone with your mental attributes has any conception of balance. You are engaged in propaganda and hate speech. You understand precisely NOTHING about economics, yet try to write as if you are a leading authority. It is clear to all that you are an unbalanced idiot.

          • I was pointing exactly on this in my previous comment. 🙂

          • so, would you then insist on the GD brigade, white supremacists, etc being allowed to spout their crap everywhere as well? There sadly is little or no difference in the mentality displayed by these “ubermenschen” and the mentality displayed by “ubermensch” chris. That is the reality of his ramblings. There is a big difference between having a hard discussion and deliberately offending for the sake of offending. Sadly, the likes of Chris don’t know that difference.

          • Not able to self-critisim and unwilling to reform.

            Whoever critizsises Greece, is an asshole, a fathasucka, a facist, a racist, a Nazi, a white supremacist, an idiot with mental problems, or even a German.

            And these are just a few examples of your, Xenos’, Giaourti Giaourtaki’s or some other’s comments.

            The very best of it: they think they are morally and intelectually supreme to the Bildzeitung-posters. Well – I see it kindof differently 😉

          • Whoever critizsises Greece

            you really need to learn the difference between critcising somebody and insulting that somebody. Believe it or not, they are totally different things. You have made it perfectly clear that for you there is no difference, and in doing so you do indeed display the very worst characteristics of all the names you have been rightfully called. Remember one thing Chris, he who sows fear, reaps anger. Your pathetic attempts have not impressed nor convinced anybody, they have however created a lot of very justified and well directed anger. You may or may not be German, but you do display the very worst of the Ubermensch caricature you have turned yourself in to. Don’t go blaming others for what you deservedly get rewarded as a result…

          • The nations lacking capacity for self-criticism are the Germans, followed closely by British and Americans. As for reforms, Greece has reformed rather more than Germany. (But with this word, you really mean “follow our orders” as opposed to improving the Greek economy)

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      With abolishment of any money system the mafia can shove it and against hedge-funds there is anti-terror police, it takes just a few days and then the planet will look like they’ve never existed.

  4. @Chris, from a German perspective:
    It often sounds as if you were just repeating tabloit propaganda (which is self enforcing). Having read different opinions here, you should know better.
    A state is not a household. Just imagine you would get as much credit as you desire, as long as the bank believes you can meet your interest payments – that is a state. Just one example: During the Greek crisis US debt increased from $ 11 to 18 trillion – so what? It doesn’t affect the US economy at all. While Russia has one of the world’s lowest debt-to-GDP ratios…
    You say the Greek government has an obligation to the ECB and is under reform pressure. But the ECB didn’t hand out money to the Greek public and enforced an improved overall budget. Instead, the ECB money went mostly to the investors and prevented a Greek default with unknown consequences to all of Europe. The Troika looked at the books and realized spending>income – so they decided to cut spending. That measure can work or fail. It’s like if you are a bus operator and realize you are losing money. You can thus decide to increase the prices charged on passengers. That may work or not. As well, reducing fares may also work or not work – it always depends.
    It doesn’t really matter whether Greece plans a primary budget surplus of 0.75% or 1% – the reality will prove otherwise anyways. Much more important is that the budget is consistent and well-founded – which we cannot assess here (as we even don’t know many numbers).
    Greece needs a substantiated declaration of having hit the bottom of the crisis. Then investment will start flowing in, competition will increase, productivity rise and purchase power, as well.
    I don’t see your “blackmail” point – the EU institutions made an offer and Greece can now take it or leave it. Probably the Eurozone wouldn’t suffer at all, if Greece leaves.
    Guestimates for Germany: In case of a Greek default, debt would increase from 2 trillion € to 2.3, but (as the Eurozone would be seen as much safer) then yields would probably return from 0.9% to 0.5%. Thus annual interest payments would even be lower in case of a Grexit than now: 11.5 instead of 18 billion €.
    For Greece: The debt burden would be lower, but investors would probably demand a risk premium for not being part of the Eurozone anymore. Thus interest payments might be lower or higher.
    If I had money on a Greek bank account, I would not leave it there. Even if there is just a 5% chance of Grexit, it would be worth the hassle.

    • “as long as the bank believes you can meet your interest payments – that is a state” – Have you realized that the banks do not lend Greece money any longer at reasonable (i.e. affordable) conditions? Your comparison with the US is also completely wrong – the US pay their debts (without a Troika to help) – Greece doesn’t.

      The ECB is constantly handing out money to the Greek public (this is called ‘ELA’)and already nearly directly fundig the Greek budget deficit: what do you think – where do the Greek banks currently have the money for purchasing Greek Government bonds? And where does the liquidity fropm those banks stem from that the Greek citizens are currently bringing abroad?

      It is absolutely ridiculous to complain that somebody is paying off your debt and the money goes entirely to your creditors. Even more so, when you expect the same amount again, to tackle your “humitarian crisis”, because you have thrown the money right out of the window.

      If Greece is not able to make a primary surplus of over 3%, it will never be able to pay off ANY of its debt (principal + interest). But never mind, the German left will pay in eternity as an act of solidarity, right?

      For the rest of your posting (regarding blackmail): just read the Greek proposal (I did) and try to understand, why they want to shift the debt from ECB (nasty creditor) and IMF (even nastier creditor – too many poor African and Asian members) to the ESM (European taxpayer’s money they will never see again – no primary surplus).

      I can understand from your posting, that you are not very firm on the facts here – and believe me, I am far from a any tabloid propaganda.

      I just see here the Syriza’s strategy of making Greece (catastrophic demographics – worse than the rest of the Balkans, but yet quite an attitude) and eternal charity case for the rest of Europe.

      This moral hazard may not ever – ever ! – happen, because it would turbo-boost the right wing parties in the creditor nations and THIS would be Europe’s peril.

      • The clear fact — which you are unable to cope with — is that Greece was lent money by incompetent and greedy investors. They invested badly, and Greece can never repay that amount.
        That should be the end of the story, but it is not. The Germans decided to play games, and lend money to bankrupt borrowers in order to keep German banks afloat, and with this cynical self-interested game started a cycle of nonsense that continues to this day.
        All of your bleating and whining and attacks on greek people is nothing other than propaganda — propaganda designed to deny reality and impose your demands on the eurozone countries.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        As only max 20% of the money went abroad this ELA-conspiracy spin by D-Mark nationalists like Mr. Sinn totals to total nonsense and if banks wouldn’t be such gangsters and leave the money of the savers in the house everything would be fine and no problems would arise when savers take their pension from THEIR accounts to feed friends and family.

      • Fair points. So we agree Greece wouldn’t have been able to service its debt on its own, thus would have defaulted. We all (or at least our democratically elected representatives) at that time didn’t want that to happen. So we bought time and developed a program how this debt could become servicable in the future again. The disadvantage of that solution was that we “socialised” parts of the Greek debt.
        Either the program was badly designed or the Greek government didn’t implement it accordingly (I tend to believe the latter or both). The Greeks voted against that solution (understandably). So either we improve that program together or there will be a Greek default.

        Although it sounds strange: It’s not fair to blame the Greeks for us having rescued them.
        Imagine you have a son named Max and a neighbour family Grix. Mr Grix is an alcoholic and borrowed a lot of money from your son at high interest rates. Max has heard that a lot of alocoholics didn’t pay back recently. When Mr Grix asks Max for another loan, Max therefore asks for a higher interest rate. Mr Grix says he cannot afford it. You know Max will be insolvent himself if he doesn’t get the installments from Mr Grix. So you talk to Mr Grix and agree that he should stop drinking alcohol and spend less on food, as well, in order to pay back Max. In exchange you give Mr Grix another cheap loan.
        Time passes… Max eventually pulls out of the situation relatively unscathed.
        While Mr Grix reduces family expenditures on food, he doesn’t stop drinking. Finally Mrs Grix throws him out and marries Mr Linx. Mr Linx is angry, he doesn’t want to pay for Mr Grix loan, but it is still attributable to the family. Mr Linx sees how little is left for food and how well your family is doing.
        So what would you do?
        I think this is the situation we are in. You can insist the Linx-Grix family has to fulfill its commitments, but is it a good idea? What about the Grix’s kids? Are they gonna be alright or are they gonna be alcoholics like their dad?
        I guess it’s hard enough to realise that your dad was an alcoholic who plunged your family into this mess.
        I’m up for both. If they decide to default – it’s ok, I should have known that Mr Grix possibly wouldn’t change enough. If Mr Linx comes up with a reasonable solution – that’s ok, too.
        But let’s not put too much pressure on the young Grix’s.

        By the way: Insisting on your right for war reparations in the Versailles treaty also didn’t work very well (though this is no excuse at all for what followed).

        In reaction to your comment:
        Regarding ELA: Should those who still believe their government can reach a solution (probably rather normal savers) be punished (in contrast to those who moved their money out of Greece already)?
        Could you please give an example for where the money wa thrown right out of the window?
        It’s sufficient to pay its interests – debt-per-GDP decreases with increasing GDP. I don’t consider myself politically left and think Merkel is doing an outstanding job.
        Where can I find the Greek proposal and also the last EU proposal?
        You know from Germany around 2000 that it is much harder to get a primary surplus in times of high unemployment and emigration of skilled, innovative workforce. Also, it takes a while until reforms trickle down.
        Yes, we need to fight the right-wing parties – but that doesn’t mean we have to accomodate them.

        It’s a mess already, but at least we all should get out of it with some dignity.

        • @Markus: No idea what your post is about, really.
          Let me say this. I am sure that the Greeks have sympathy for the alcoholics in the German government, but you cannot expect them to place an export ban on ouzo and raki.

          • You/Me=Germany/Eurozone
            Max (instead of son: rather greedy aunt)=German/European banks
            Grix=Greeks
            Mr Grix= former, corrupt Greek governments
            Mr Linx= Syriza
            the Grix’ kids= young and future generations of Greeks, who had no voting right during the 90ies and 2000s
            Mrs Grix= overall Greek voting population
            German beer= Siemens, Rheinmetall

          • I’m sorry, Markus. I trained as an economist, and somehow never took the class in family dysfunctions, nor the option in bizarre and inappropriate analogies.

          • Ok, then please tell me how Merkel and other Eurozone politicians can prevent a Grexit under the condition they may not spend/lend a single additional Euro of their taxpayer`s money. I don’t see how this is possible, just like the majority of German businesspeople, economists, politicians and voters.
            If that condition isn’t met, then there is no longer any chance for another bailout law in parliament. We don’t have a presidential system in Germany, so Merkel cannot decide on her own – she always has to ask parliament. The ECB already acts at the borders of its legal authority. ESM credits are conditioned to a strict austerity program.
            The only solution I see for staying in the Eurozone while not accepting the “imposed” agreement, is to get loans from outside the EU (US, China, Russia). But they will come at a price, too. Time is running out.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      What will the Troika find in Greek books as they were 5 years too lazy to learn Greek or are to stupid to ask? No investors will come if Greece has to pay in 2022 three times the money back they’ll have to pay in 2021.

  5. Five years ago, the question was the balance sheet of banks, the private banks wrong risk assessment, the toxic assets…
    After completion of the troyka program, all private bank losses were socialized, all losses were transferred to be handled by state budgets. That’s why in the present moment, instead off speaking who is the next banker that should go to prison (Iceland, Ireland) we are speaking on public pension fund insolvency.

    If you are incompetent, better stay in the private banking sector (Dragui/Merkel’s lemma)