The European Commission said today that it cannot confirm an extraordinary Eurogroup meeting on Thursday. This will be decided by Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem and will depend on the sufficient progress of the negotiation talks. EC spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt told reporters that “discussions on emergency measures in progress” and that representatives of institutions returned to Athens for the conclusion of the Program Review “as soon as possible.”
While Greece and lenders try to find a formula for the IMF’s contingency measures package of 3.6 billion euro, the Greek side expects that both sides have agree by Wednesday morning and the Eurogroup meeting to take place on Thursday. An agreement would unlock a bailout tranche of at least 5 billion euro so that Greece will be able to pay its international creditors.
These contingency measures create a new strong headache for the Greek government not only because the society has been already drained from the overtaxation and the indirect taxes of the last 6 years but also because it will have to legislate now about what will happen or may happen in the future. The creditors and the IMF want that Athens submits now a bill with measures that will go into effect if the targets of 2018 will be missed. The issue is also legally impossible because as Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said ” “You cannot legislate ‘x’ if ‘z’ happens in 2018 or 2019.”
But creditors have the upper hand and Greece has to obey. How will Greece find these 3.6-billion extra measures within a couple of days? Do not wonder, if you see the Value Added Tax rise at 30% by 2018.
Today, there is a debate in the Parliament Plenary on the Pensions Reform. The legislation was submitted by the Greek government last week without the consent of the creditors. Once, the voting is over, then we will know whether the lenders have added their own modifications.
PS at the end of the talks, creditors will ask Greeks aged 0-99 to jump twice per day to Schaeuble’s tune and his dirty song “Please the IMF, how cares if you can do austerity worth 9 billion euro.”