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Greeks holding their breath and money, with eyes fixed on Brussels

“I have enough cash and enough food at home. Now, I sit and wait,” a friend told me this morning. Anna is extremely worried that creditors will let Greece down with whatever the cost for the society. “They want Greece out of the euro and the EU, whatever the government will do.” Anna believes that creditors’ pressure and anti-Greek sentiment has nothing to do with finances. “It is purely political. Look Juncker said last week, the disagreement was on 60 million euro. They will let down Greece for 60 million? It is political!”

Tonia shares Annas’ view 100%. “Of course, it’s political, they don’t want SYRIZA to succeed out of fear that other people in Europe will rise up,” she says. Tonia does neither line up in front of the ATMs, nor did she stock shopping. “I will go crazy, if I fall into this psycho trap. I don’t do it,” she underlines and adds that she neither paid rent or utility bills awaiting to see what will happen in Brussels.

Like many other Greeks, Anna and Tonia have cancelled even short-term plans and await for the decisions to be taken in Brussels today. They are both NO-voters, even though one of them has been voting for the conservatives all of her life.

“It’s finished. The only space for maneuver the creditors let us, was to go and vote. And yet, they decide above our heads, despite the referendum outcome. They are pathetic and harm the European idea,” Tonia stresses.

Greece stands with one leg in the cliff of economic collapse, its European partners and creditors are to decided later today, whether the negotiations will start again. Athens has gone to Brussels with a new proposal and the backing of three opposition parties.

Schedule for Tuesday/Wednesday

Eurogroup meeting: 1 pm

EU Leaders Summit: 7 pm

ECB to convene again Wednesday

Bank Holiday until Wednesday – New decision later on the day depending on ECB’s  decision about ELA for Greek banks.

Athens Stock Exchange to remain closed until Wednesday as well.

Unconfirmed information has it that 16 out of the 18 Euro-area members are for a Grexit. Many of the European ‘democrats’ have said that the Referendum result is irrelevant.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament this morning:

“I am against Grexit. There are some in Eurozone openly or covered favoring Grexit. European Commission will do anything to prohibit this.”

However he added that ” Tsipras must explain what was the question again?”. And I reckon Juncker saying before the Referendum: “Greeks should vote YES whatever the question!” So the Eurocrats were supporting YES although they didn’t know the Referendum question? Go figure…

No final decision on Greek problem is expected today. PM Alexis Tsipras and new FinMin Euclid Tsakalotos will be in Brussels to table new proposals and have negotiations restarted. Tsipras’ new proposals have the backing of opposition parties New Democracy, PASOK and To Potami junior coalition partner ANEL  for a “socially just and economically viable” agreement with the creditors.

In fact, the restart of negotiations aim for a new bailout program that could be total up to “€70billion” as some Greek media claimed today. The second bailout program expired on June 30th and talks from February to June were actually a kind of “review” for the second MoU.

In Brussels there is allegedly talk about a

“Bridge solution with bridge funding – €6bn in July and €7bn in August.

An idea allegedly proposed by France and supported by Cyprus.

ECB’s Notovny told Austrian TV Monday night that “a bridge funding until agreement reached was thinkable. Novotny stressed that ECB would not be able to provide more liquidity for Greece if it defaulted on its debt.

Without bailout program the ECB cannot fund Greek banks, therefore a political solution is necessary for such a thing like “bridge funding.” Since Friday, June 26th the ECB has rejected Greece’s requests to increase ELA for the country’s banks. On Monday, ECB went even so far to “haircut” Greek collateral for ELA.

The IMF and Christine Lagarde will reportedly stay away from the Brussels meetings today.

Meanwhile in Greece, the market has been paralyzed as people refrain from spending their money afraid of a possible banks collapse in the next days. Queues outside ATM’s remain long as more and more people struggle to withdraw their daily €60 portion, which is in fact just a 50-euro banknote. The bank holiday seems to have created a shortage of 20-euro banknotes.

There are rumors that there is a shortage of goods, medicines and other products, but not confirmed.

Capital controls and bank holiday have created lots of problems also to Greek websites that cannot extend Web Hosting as Greek credit and debit cards are not accepted abroad.

PS if one day you see no KeepTalkingGreece then you know why…

 

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38 comments

  1. Mme Lagarde does not even bother to join the meeting tonight. So haircut off the table. Either Tsipras steps back from wanting it – or there won’t be any result today anyway. Apart from many countries, that already have decided Grexit, such as Germany. Next steps: Some more days of game of chicken, then … ooooops – banks falter, maybe one major goes bust before (?). ATMs will run dry wednesday. End of the week or beginning next week: No money to pay pensions and public service wages. Will be paid in IOU’s. Grexit imminent next week. My humble opinion.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      #Debt haircut not on EU’s table today anyway. the issue is whether negotiations will proceed or not

    • Greece already failed to pay the IMF, so why would they attend? Greece only need gifts from the EU

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Greece didn’t failed to pay IMF, regarding last weeks IMF so far Greece paid “back” 40 billion to IMF, not to mention that ECB made 6 billion (known) profit from the loans and Germany took 2.4 billion of it.
        That’s a whole lotta pee for a country that “never pays back”

  2. “PS if one day you see no “KeepTalkingGreece“ then you know why…”

    If it comes to this, I’ll be happy to help pitch in, and I am sure several of my fellow readers would, too. It’s the least we can do after years of reading your blog. You have my email address, so you know where to find me.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      thank you. hope I will still have internet 🙂

    • Second that. Is Paypal an option?

      • keeptalkinggreece

        thank you. not with GR card

        • Is Paypal working differently in Greece? This would be a transfer from foreign bank, to Paypal, to Greek bank account, should be allowed? I thought only transfers out of Greece were disallowed?

          • keeptalkinggreece

            as I said. I don;t know.

            • Nobody is going to stop money coming IN to Greece. Once here, you can download it into your bank account and are then subjected to all the capital controls in place. Paypal to paypal is, as far as I can see, outside the banking system (I think it falls in the shadow-banking sector) and is not covered by the same capital controls. Uploading to your PayPal account would be limited, if not prohibited for the time being at least…

              • keeptalkinggreece

                you know the problem with the ‘broken trust to the banking system” nowadays, don’t you? So many initiatives to support people are resting for the time being, until things get more clear.

                • Trusting the banking system is the biggest mistake humanity ever made…

                  I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

                  Thmoas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States of America.

              • Giaourti Giaourtaki

                But Western Union already stopped it both directions so it’s possible paypal will consider to. If it’s possible one should try to get an American account, lots of dollars instead of Euros or an account in Turkey if you got a boat.
                Euros every one can print legally because they are fake money, only states with constitution are allowed to print money and the EU has no constitution, so Greece has more rights to print Euros than the ECB

                • keeptalkinggreece

                  Western Union restarted payments to Greece however… Read HERE
                  I think their Share suffered a bit after holding payment to/from lol

            • PayPal is PayPal. As long as you use your account to pay stuff, it doesn’t matter where you are. I too would be more than happy to pay your WWW hosting costs – I’d be lost without you 🙁

  3. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    When not paying rent and utilities gets realized in the offices of the mouthpieces the frenzy about “mentality” will start again, as a brave “European” slave pays always and always first of all his rent, ok, not all, Austria f.e. belongs more and more to the Balkan and they hate it that Bavarians speak uphill into their politics and call’em “Greeks” for their bank-scandal, yeah Austria would fit better into southern states… and the Italians love “mentalita”

  4. “And yet, they decide above our heads, despite the referendum outcome. ”

    Its is not despite the referendum, it is because of it.
    And this is what every european politician warned about before.

    Why is it, that the majority of commentators here think Schulz to be a liar and scaremonger, when what he said would happen is exactly what happenes right now?

    I still dont understand what the expectation was about what would happen? What would respecting the will of the greek people look like in your eyes?

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Just like after the January elections: Let’s punish them with even more troika-terrorism!
      15-20000 murdered by cut medicine, unborn or early died babies and suicides are not enough reforms? “Oh wait, if we have good luck the summer will get even hotter, the banks even closer and more and more elderly will drop like flies” (Sigmar Merkel)
      So another 20.000, 30.000 murders will follow fast; that’s clear the strategy of the enemy, they obviously believe that the 75% that still have/had jobs are “at the beaches” and after the referendum the resistance will collapse.
      This will show the world-proletariat that democracy won’t change anything, that elections would be forbidden if they could change anything.
      In Greece? Are they crazy? Guns don’t need bullets to fly and prisons will empty and open like hades for them?

    • What would respecting the will of the greek people look like in your eyes?

      quite simply this… admitting that the austerity policies not only failed, but contributed majorly to the ever deteriorating situation. That also needs to include the lie of “The Irish success”…The IMF further contributed to the deterioration of the situation of the Greek people by getting their multipliers wrong and causing far more damage than they “expected” to (I still have my doubts about this being a genuine error on their behalf) Respecting the will of the Greek people simply means at least trying to look for a mutually acceptable solution to the problem instead of pigheadedly insisting that more of the same poison will eventually do the trick. And it first and foremost involves stopping the lying, the doctoring of figures, the twisitng of facts and the attempts to willfully destroy what is left of the Greek economy. The latest disgusting example of this can be found in yesterdays “Express” (express.co.uk), on the finance pages which shows a headline reading

      Greece crisis: 50,000 tourists cancel holidays each DAY as food RUNS OUT and cash is GONE

      . Freedom of press is one thing, but it most definitely does not and should not include freedom to lie.. This kind of abuse should be punishable with severe financial penalties for the abuser, just like interference in sovereign affairs by EP presidents shuld result in the immediate sacking of that president…

      • Tourism is definitely affected but 50,000 cancellations is a wrong number. Andreas Andreades supposedly said that hotel bookings are running at 50,000 less than last year. Those would not be cancellations but lower booking.

        • Neither have we run out of food, nor is the money gone. This is simply a poiece of garbage not worthy of the name journalism. It is a total fabrication, but with the very obvious and intended aim of doing damage to an already fragile economy.

      • “quite simply this… admitting that the austerity policies not only failed, but contributed majorly to the ever deteriorating situation.”
        Thats not respecting the referendum, thats agreeing to your arguments.
        Huge difference. I almost never agree with Giaourti, yet even when he writes rageposts I respect his right to free speech which is why am against censoring them.
        And if this is what you were expecting then you were either not listening or didnt believe what all other european politicians were saying would happen.
        At this point in time and basicaqly since 30.6 there are alot of automatisms. The ecb didnt decide to keep ela levels to punish the greek electorate, they did it because even before they were stretching their own rules to keep ela running, and now they would hvae to break those rules in order to increase the lvl(or even maintain it if there is no payment by july 20). Same with the IMF, suppose lagarde gets kicked out tomorrow morning and since hes free right now they decide to make varoufakis new head of IMF, he still couldt pay out any money until those payments from june were received.

        “Respecting the will of the Greek people simply means at least trying to look for a mutually acceptable solution to the problem instead of pigheadedly insisting that more of the same poison will eventually do the trick. ”
        What problem? The problem that low income people are suffering because of too harsh cuts or the problem that even after 5 years the greek finances are not sustainable and need to be subsidised by european taxpayers? Both things need to be adressed and many people have repeatedly said they dont really care how you get your budget in order just do it. So if the greek government wants to raise the money by a tax on millionaires instead of cutting ekas they can do that.
        But 90% of the talks here and from the government is either about a haircut, which I agree needs to happen but wont change much in short term, or about what you do NOT want(no more pension cuts, no raise on vat, rather more government jobs then less…). Now there maybe good arguments for each of those noes, but just no isnt good enough, there needs to be a yes to something.

        Its the very same thing this evening, since the old proposal was rejected everyone was saying ok, got to respect that now lets see what their proposals are. And there are none. The only proposal that came today is pls find a way to get the money flowing again. It simply cant work like that, and that comes from a guys who would describe himself as somewhat neutral in this(i.e. I think there were mistakes in plenty on both sides and both sides will have to give up some of their positions to get this fixed)

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          You still don’t realize that they never aimed for any negotiations, and lie all the time, the proposal already was made public!
          If Angela Honecker says “we can talk” it means “hello and good bye”, if they say “negotiations” they only want knee-jerking down to the illegal 48 page e-mail “deal” of Nov 29th, if they say “proposals” they mean kill yourself! If they say “reforms” they mean capitalist mass-murder through “cuts”
          Any left party in Europe should get their members out of parliament right now and boycott all elections because democrazy is just the perfect crime as politics is only the strategy of the power to canalize contradictions into divide and conquer, anti-politics will come

        • I would like to think we can put this down to language difference… Before anything can be done about the whole situation, it is VITAL that those austerity advocates do indeed face the fact that their medicine has done enormous damage and no good. The patient went from ill to critical, because the medicine doesn’t work. This is not just a recent rejection of the medicine, but didn’t the word go. Increasing the dose only makes things worse. Once that is clear to everybody, then we can all start talking about where we go from there.
          The Greek people have said “Όχι” because they know this, have the experience of being a failed experiment for the last number of years, and simply say that “enough is enough”. This does not translate into “more of the same anyway”. That is the Dijsselbloem interpretation simply because he hasn’t got the brains or the creativity to think anything other than what he’s been told to think.
          The problem with the whole thing is that the basic principle of what the Greek government wants (a socially acceptable program that allows for growth, with payment afterwards) is diametrically oposed to the entrenched stance of Schaueble and Co who insist on drawing blood from a stone to get payment first. If you want to translate the “wish of the Greek people” into plain language, here it is, “be reasonable”. And stop lying and scare mongering. Many “comments”, including on this blog, state as “fact” that Greece does not want to pay its debts. That has never been said, nor indicated by ANY Greek government. That is scare-mongering initiated by those who feel that their position of power would be eroded if they are seen to be “weak” (meaning, change their view). As long as that inability to change one’s view on things remains a requisite for being a member of a ruling, or powerful body, then things will keep going wrong.

          • “Before anything can be done about the whole situation, it is VITAL that those austerity advocates do indeed face the fact that their medicine has done enormous damage and no good. ”
            See here you manage to sum up the whole problem in one sentence. Ill agree with you that the troika at some point needs to realize that the cuts were over the top(though I dont think you could have closed a t10% gdp deficit without cuts, its just that they were too much and at least part on the wrong people). But the problem with greek stance is also embodied in this. BEFORE you say.
            There are quite a few people in ger and other countries, mostly social-democrats and socialists who are already ok witha haircut. The problem is the before. The governments before this one were blocking every step of the way and basically only did what they were forced to. Add to that things like the lagarde list getting ignored or people in special interest groups further blocking any real reform(I remember athens taxi drivers going on strike right in the tourists season, during a harsh recession…).
            Now those were not Syriza, but they were greek governments, elected by the greek people.
            Now comes syriza and at the start of this I was really hopeful. But look 6 month later. Just like there was no proposal nothing got the last 6 month except make things worse(by doing nothing). What about those real reforms? Of the tax collection system, on buracracy, on getting the priviledges of special interest(thats not always the same as big capital) taken down? Negotitations with switzerland on information exchange are dragging and the greek super rich are still laughing.
            The consequence being that even people who want a haircut would now be in a position that theyd have to defend a haircut with still nothing being done yet/just promises. And promises are cheap/not worth much something because by now there is absolutly no trust.

            Btw. still up to this point, I havent seen any explanation on this blog on how the greek part of the equation could look like if the creditor gave in on a haircut. Neither from you or KTG xenos or Giaourti. SO let me ask this next. Suppose you get a 50% haircut, whcich will give you debt around the european average, what concessions would you be willing to make for that?

            • But look 6 month later. Just like there was no proposal nothing got the last 6 month except make things worse(by doing nothing).

              See, here is precisely where you and the EU, the Troika and all they others go wrong. From day one, The Greek government was not allowed to do anything uless it carried the rubber stamp of the Troika. Why? Because what was stated they would do (Thessaloniki program) is not in line with the neo-liberal policies that the Troika wants to enforce on Greece and everywhere else. They are not interested in reforms, they are interested in policies being blindly followed. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether these policies are good for the country or not, whether they carry the approval of the people who are expected to live under them, is, as far as these clowns are concerned, totally immaterial. Secondly,

              what concessions would you be willing to make for that

              why do you have to ape the aggressive EU-speak? Why do there have to be “concessions”? What if it can be done another way, with the agreement and the support of the Greek people? As long as the result is the same, ie. eventually paying back whatever debt needs paying back, isn’t that what matters? Why does the pay-back have to along one set of demands only? Many years of experinece tell us that this line of thinking doesn’t work, so why insist on more of the same? Wouldn’t a little lateral, creative thinking go a lot furhter than pigheaded stubborness in the face of known none-functionality?

            • what concessions would you be willing to make for that?

              Why does the solutions always have to be the one of superiority vs inferiority? Why “concessions”? What not take of the blinkers and look at possibilities outside the obviously failed austerity textbook? Here, in greece, we all know that the remedy has failed. Gloriously failed. So why insist on “concessions” which is simply demanding more of the same? This can only be explained in terms of those demanding “concessions” being totally unwiling to even consider the possibility that they may have been wrong and a totally different approach is needed. What this country needs last of all are “concessions”. This country needs change. And within the rigit, inflexible harnass imposed on it by the Troika such change is impossible. The harnass imposed on it by the Euro makes change even more impossible. If Greeks insist on staying within the EU and EZ (they why of this reasoning still beats me!) then what Greece should do default within the EU and EZ. This would more than likely have the very desirable outcome of bringing the whole house of cards down. But, in the event it doesn’t have that optimum effect, Greece should print its own, marked Euros as a second, internal currency, only to be used within Greece. Force the use of that internal Euro, which it can devalue as much as it likes. That is the major key to economic recovered, now denied because of the very flawed EZ set-up. But then, never forget R. Mundell, father of the Euro…

              The euro would really do its work when crises hit. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession. It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,and without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business. Labour laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes, all would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace

              Which is precisely what is happening. And then this little country on the SE corner of Europe stands up and insists that democracy must be allowed to happen…So it gets squached by all means possible, God forbid people would be allowed to have a say in how their lives will be run for them. That is against the rules…

            • Why this insisting on “concessions”? It is simply another way of saying here’s a list of things we want you to do, this is the way you MUST go. It is also another way of denying that this road leads to nowhere, as we here in Greece have been finding out the hard way for a very long time. And this is exactly why it is vital that this gets fully recognised first, because without the admission that the road the country has been forced to take is the wrong road, nothing can be achieved to get to the final destination. Surely that is not too hard to understand. Once you’re on the wrong road, you never get to where you want to go…
              As for solutions, well. The logical solution is to get out of the fire before it burns you even more, especially when those stoking the fire have, despite their denials made it very clear through their actions that inflicting more damage is their exact intent. But for reasons which elude all logic, Greece and the Greek people continue to insist that they must remain an integral part of the EU and the EZ. Both Greece within that set-up, as well as the setup itself carry responsibility for the situation the country finds itself in. So, how to sort this? I don’t think it can be sorted from within the EU/EZ setup, precisely because of the inflexibility and unwillingness to even consider alternatives by the EU/EZ members. Their attitude is simply “It’s my way, or the high way”.
              But Greece can do something indeed, and it would quite possibly have the delightfull little side effect of bringing the whole EU/EZ house of cards down. While indeed implementing the necessary reforms, without destroying its social fabric and labour laws, Greece can in fact legally print its own Euros. Just mark them and designate them for use within Greece only. That will give the country the one, all important tool it is now being denied because of the “flawed” set-up of the Euro. The ability to set its own fical policy, independent from the EZ. For you must never forget the true purpose of the Euro, which is anything but flawed. It’s purpose is perfectly supported by its setup. Here’s Robert Mundell, “brains” behind the Euro on what the Euro in reality is intended to do

              The euro would really do its work when crises hit. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession. It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians, and without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business. Labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes, all would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace

              And that my friend, is where the real problem lies. Enter Greece, July 2015, through referendum (one of these unmentionable, unacceptable democratic tools), insisting on democracy not just being allowed to interfere, but becoming the driving force of the EU. Bad Greece, must be slapped down, and slapped down very hard, lest others might get similar ideas…

        • Laurette LaLiberte

          The problem, they can’t just ‘do that.’ The lenders are requiring that they com up with the money on the banker’s terms. They are not leaving it up to Greece to decide how to balance their budget. Greece says “We want to do this.” The lenders respond “No, do this, even if it is impossible.”

          That is what I never understood. If I take out a loan for a house, the mortgage company doesn’t come in and inspect my house. No one that I can think of would put up with a lender saying. “I notice that your electric bill is a little high, you can’t have air conditioning. And I see that your cupboards are full. I want you to cut your grocery budget in half so we can make sure you pay your loan.” The lenders shouldn’t be concerned with the means by which the Greeks come up with the money to pay them, only that they get repaid.

  5. You first say ‘no’ to Brussel, then you wait on Brussel. If you want control of your country, take control.

  6. Well, if it was only 60 mln euro and so important for the Greek society, why did Tsipras not agree? And why the referendum? But I noticed that the Greek are not good in looking in the mirror.

  7. Hm, I read a lot of foreign newspapers. It does not really look like anyone is considering bailing out Greece under the current conditions.

    Maybe I am misinformed and the Greek press does know more, but this huge difference in expectations is really confusing to read.

    • It is important to note that the IMF did not attend the meeting. The USA (plus the rest of world) seems to have retrieved control of it back from Europe. This suggests a split between the USA and Germany in particular: we have known this for some time, but it has come to a head now. The USA will not allow Europe to jettison Greece: it is too dangerous for NATO and western cohesive power. Tsipras has very wisely left Russia always there on the sidelines, just to worry the silly Krauts.