Speaking to reporters in Istanbul after a two-day meeting of finance chiefs from the Group of 20, Schaeuble said “it’s over” if Greece doesn’t want the final tranche of the current aid program. Greece’s creditors also “can’t negotiate about something new,” Schaeuble said.
Greek government bonds had risen today for the first time in five days on optimism there might be room to move toward an agreement that will help ensure the nation isn’t left short of funds. That had come after Greece had offered compromises in a bid to push for a bridge plan to stave off a funding crunch and to buy time for negotiations to ease austerity demands.
Any accord, however, would require an easing of Germany’s stance in the standoff between Greece and its creditors over conditions attached to its 240 billion-euro ($272 billion) lifeline. An impasse risks leaving Greece without funding as of the end of this month, when its current bailout expires, and may put Europe’s most-indebted state’s euro membership in danger.
Schaeuble damped expectations, saying euro region finance ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow won’t negotiate a new program for the cash-strapped country as a program is already in place and was arrived at after “arduous” negotiations.
He also said media reports that the European Commission will give Greece six more months to reach an aid deal “has to be wrong” because he’s not aware of such a plan and the commission isn’t in charge of making such decisions. Schaeuble said he had discussed the rules of the aid programs at a meeting with his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis in Berlin last week.
Take it or leave it, new Greek PM Alexey Tsipras. Ball's in your court now, and Zee Germans have called Athens out to put their cards on the table and take the deal. How will the Greeks respond? Is there really a six-month reprieve in the works, or is it time for the Greeks to make a decision?
Austerity or Freedom, boys?