Monday, April 06, 2015

Greece: Merkel keeps on the squeeze

Greece has a major debt payment due this week. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says they will be able to meet it.

But in ongoing negotiations for the release of the next tranche of funds due to Greece from the institutions-formerly-known-as-the-Troika (IMF, EU Commission, ECB), Angela Merkel and her EU allies continue to play hardball on stalling the payment.

The climax is likely to come this summer, when Greece will be faced with defaulting on some of its external debt if the institutions-formerly-known-as-the-Troika don't come through.

Keep Talking Greece reports in Greece’s Credit Event risk averted, but EU keeps up the dirty work with political pressure 04/06/2015:

However – and as expected – Varoufakis’ promise [on the April payment] does not hinder the usual “EU suspects”, the notorious “anonymous sources” to continue pressure on Greece, pulling their last cards to continue the atmosphere of insecurity.

According to Financial Times, the Europeans want Prime Minister Tsipras to get rid of SYRIZA’s “hard leftists” Left Platform and his coalition party nationalist Independent Greeks in order to facilitate a more pro-EU approach and voting in favor of more austerity in Greek parliament.

“Alexis Tsipras must choose if he wants to be the prime minister of Greece or the leader of the SYRIZA leftist party, the European officials say. If he wants the former, he must form a coalition with center-left parties To Potami and PASOK.” (source)

Sinking and falling apart PASOK? Not, Merkel’s and Rajoy’s friend Antonis Samaras and Nea Dimokratia? wow...

PS I told you before, the issue is political and not economical.

So, be prepared! Creditors and especially the so-called EU-partners will continue to play with our nerves.
In other words, Merkel is still trying to dictate who the rulers of Greece will be and what they national policies will be, i.e., whatever Angie dictates. To Potami and PASOK are both Merkel-subservient parties.

Peter Spiegel in Brussels and Kerin Hope report in the piece apparently referenced by Keep Talking Greece, Frustrated officials want Greek premier to ditch Syriza far left Financial Times 04/05/2015. I enjoyed this part, indicating once against what a whiny bunch of WATB jerks the Very Serious People can be:

Eurozone frustration has spilt over into relations with Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s charismatic finance minister who is viewed as lukewarm towards the country’s future in the eurozone.

European officials argue that he is frequently condescending and lecturing to his eurozone counterparts in meetings — a tendency that has alienated even potential allies.

With the bailout talks moving at a snail’s pace and a cash crunch looming, Mr Varoufakis flew to Washington on Sunday for a meeting with Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.

Mr Varoufakis requested the meeting partly to reassure Ms Lagarde that Greece would be able to repay a €450m loan tranche, due this week, despite a liquidity squeeze, but also to send a message that he is still in charge of the bailout talks.

Efforts to sideline Mr Varoufakis have occasionally burst into public. Michael Noonan, the Irish finance minister, suggested last month that bailout negotiations were being taken away from Mr Varoufakis’s finance ministry and handed over to Yannis Dragasakis, the deputy prime minister, who some see as more pragmatic.
Reuters reports (Greece needs deal with lenders on April 24 -finance minister to paper 04/16/2015):

Greece must reach an outline funding agreement with its lenders at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on April 24, its finance minister told a Greek newspaper on Monday.

"At the Eurogroup (meeting) of April 24 there must be a preliminary conclusion (of the talks), as per the Eurogroup accord on Feb. 20," Yanis Varoufakis told daily Naftemporiki.

Greece offered a new package of reforms last week in the hope of unlocking remaining funds from its bailout program, but its EU and IMF lenders have yet to sign up to the proposals.
Time for another round of V for Varoufakis:

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