Friday, June 05, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the IMF: bite me!

The IMF backed down on the latest cliff-hanger, the payment that Greece was due to make Friday that they couldn't (Karolina Tagaris and Angeliki Koutantou, Greek PM rejects 'absurd' offer from lenders, delays IMF payment Reuters 06/05/2015):

On Friday the government decided to bundle together some 1.6 billion euros it is scheduled to pay the IMF in June into a single payment at the end of the month, skipping a 300 million euro payment due on Friday.

It was the first time in five years of crisis that Greece has postponed a repayment on its 240 billion euro bailouts from euro zone governments, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

The IMF said the maneuver was unorthodox but permissible.
This is a good illustration of something John Maynard Keynes supposedly said: "If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours."

This is why Greece has so much negotiating clout in this situation. It's just that it wasn't until Tsipras became Prime Minister and Yanis Varoufakis Finance Minister that a Greek government was willing to use it.

Ekathemerini reports Tsipras dismisses lenders’ proposals but sees deal soon 06/05/2015:

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Parliament on Friday that the proposals of the country's lenders are “unrealistic” but that he still believes the government is close to achieving an agreement with the institutions.

“The proposals submitted by lenders are unrealistic,” said the premier. “The Greek government cannot consent to absurd proposals,” he added in reference to the plan presented to him earlier this week by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

“I would like to believe that this proposal was an unfortunate moment for Europe, or at least a bad negotiating trick, and will very soon be withdrawn by the same people who thought it up,” said the prime minister.
It's good to see a government in the EU fighting for the real interests of their people. I hope the example spreads!

No comments: