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German media claim Greece’s Finance Minister Tsakalotos was ready to resign. Really?

German media know apparently better. And they claim today that finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and one more member of the Greek government intend to resign. Leading in this role is Bild newspaper that sees “a dramatic escalation in Greece’s government and financial crisis as two cabinet members are threatening to resign and the government is running out of money.”

Citing “several Greek sources” Bild claims that Euclic Tsakalotos is considering to resign from the government if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gives much to much to the lenders. According to the German daily,”some of creditors’ demands go too far”. Bild cites a sentence by Tsakalotos during a press conference in which he said “I am not willing to draft a legislation that goes beyond my red lines.” The controversial issue was the creditors’ demands to lower the tax-free annual income threshold down to €8,181. Tsakalotos red line is to go from €9,500 currently down to €9,091.

According to BILD, Finance Minister Tsakalotos has allegedly already informed PM Tsipras about his intention. Bild’s report was reproduced by all German media with the effect that Greek media websites claim that “German media speak of Tsakalotos’ resignation.”

So, the Greek FinMin will resign over the tax-free threshold? The issue is not so simple. For sure, Tsakalotos approach is a program with a long-term perspective and not just a short-term program that will make the numbers look nice on the papers. Furthermore, some Greek media claim that there were several differences between the Tsakalotos and ministers of the cabinet who do not follow the speed of the reform that are supposed to be done.

But would Tsakalotos take the risk to resign in the midst of negotiations with the creditors and let the government and the country in the cold thus risking the default of the country to the IMF as 400 million euro should be paid by the end of the month?

Based on first hand experience with the low-profile minister… I don’t think so. I don’t think that Tsakalotos would resign – if claims are true – before the whole package (agreement with lenders and the Eurogroup, disbursement of bailout tranche). Of course, I am not in Tsakalotos’ mind.

And yet I would like very much to know whether these “claims” are leaked by government sources – i.e. ministers or SYRIZA officials opposing Tsakalotos – or by the Greek opposition for the sake of stirring the troubled political scene.


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  1. It’s German state propaganda. Former head of Bild in his book released in Feb. said that Bild had become a mouthpiece for Merkel no longer speaking for the people but rather the elite.