€Deadlock with creditors. The 2-billion euro bailout tranche is a risk. The Euro Working Group that was supposed to meet today and prepare the ground for the tranche release on Monday by the esteemed members of the Eurogroup decided otherwise. The EWG members preferred a long weekend than to deal with Greece. There is no meeting today.
One of the main “thorns” that hinder an agreement between creditors and Greece are the so-called “red loans” and the foreclosures of first residence. another issue also important are the equivalent measures to replace the 23% Value Added Tax in education. Measures that will bring to the state 300 million euro.
Sources form Brussels stated that there were still issues open before the bailout tranche could be released.
Greek government officials told Bloomberg that they believe that Greece and creditors can reach a deal by Monday.
According to Greek media, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will call European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker later today in an effort to break the deadlock.
I think, it is a mistake to call Juncker right now as he has his own agenda he wants to push over Greece. He insists on promoting the German position for “Greek-Turkish joint patrols in the Aegean Sea” as a strategy that will prohibit refugees from entering the EU external borders. And probably prohibit also the drowning of dozens of children and adults each and every week, because the European Union can no longer have to watch this drama.
Speaking in meeting Frankfurt, Germany, Juncker said yesterday that the internal EU borders will remain open, once the external borders are better safeguarded. He added that he had proposed the ‘joint patrols in the Aegean” and that the Turks agreed but that Greeks raised objections.
“Where we live?” Juncker asked -rhetorically, I assume – adding “The point is do we have to argue now over 10 kilometers of marine zone, over who is where responsible or to save human lives? Sometimes we talk away from the real issues of life.”
While Juncker was speaking, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble was beating the drum. Schaeuble predicted a catastrophe for Europe saying “If Europe fails to control its external borders, it will be destroyed.” Schaeuble had the free movement of Schengen in mind but oddly enough he spoke in the same tune as Metropolit of Thessaloniki Anthimos.
“if the Evros fence will be brought down, a great calamity will occur,” the holy man said last Sunday during his preaching.
Holy and unholy man aside, the phone conversation between Tsipras and Juncker may be crucial for the future of the bailout tranche and the “joint patrols” as I smell a bad bargain.
For the former prime minister of Luxembourg, “a marine zone of 10 kilometers” – or nautical miles as we, seaside folks, call them – may be not an issue. Juncker has apparently forgotten how the Luxembourg Duchy was created. As if his people had never argued over borders disputes.
But maybe the small country with the world’s highest GDP per capital is overwhelmed with the six refugees families, 30 people in total among them several kids, it accepted in the context of Refugees allocation within the EU.
Yes. I agree with EC president Jean-Claude Juncker. Where do we live?
UPDATE: the phone conversation between Tsipras and Juncker has been postponed for Sunday!
I wonder if the Greek PM read my post and postponed the phone call until a better ‘defense’ strategy towards “bailout trance vs joint patrols” has been found 🙂
PS 2 billion euro delayed? I’ll stick to my 2 euro in my wallet.
Joint patrols are only possible for police forces not for the coastguard and in fact they are cooperating already for search & rescue operations and saved together some 350.000 people out of the water. A real patrol would be to get all these tourist-shops owners who sell not only “tickets” but also life-vests that are filled with paper, the same killers tourists from everywhere support.
As Turkey still believes it owns small islands that belong to Crete – beside some others even with populations 1500 people strong – to protect the borders from terrorists joint patrols with PKK would make much more sense. Also the terrorist Erdogun will use every chance he will get to destroy Rojana, the only real democracy in this area, but in the long run the only chance for peace will be a Kurdish-Turkish state or cantons without any state and that means to support a revolution; if Tsipras doesn’t think this way he was never a communist or even a leftists.
To torpedo Junkers drunken blackmail the opening of the fence and a campaign for the recognition of the Pontian Genocide by the German Reichstag would bring much better results; also Turkey can’t join EU without recognition and for Erdogun this brings a brilliant opportunity to destroy more drunken heroes: Atatürk and his murder-buddies.