Saturday, June 6, 2015

Greece Calls The Troika's Bluff

Greece isn't paying up on its debt as PM Alexis Tsipras has called the troika's bluff, and the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank are now scrambling to get something locked in before markets open on Monday.

The European Union's chief executive declined to speak to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday after the leftist leader rejected as "absurd" international creditors' terms for a cash-for-reform deal to keep his country from default.

An EU official said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has tried to bridge the gap between Athens and its lenders, refused to take a telephone call from the Greek premier since there was nothing new to discuss.

A Greek government official denied the report and said Tsipras held a conference call on the debt crisis with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The unresolved debt impasse, which is weighing on financial markets and could hit the global economic recovery, will hang over a Group of Seven leaders' summit that Merkel will chair in southern Germany from Sunday. A German spokesman said Tsipras was not invited.

With time running out for a debt deal and Greece struggling to meet its payment obligations, relations between Athens and its European and IMF lenders have turned increasingly raw.

A European Commission spokeswoman said in a text message: "I can confirm that there was a request for a call. President Juncker and PM Tsipras will certainly stay in contact in the coming days, as was said in the statement on Wednesday night."

Tsipras had been due to return to Brussels for more talks on Friday but, faced with a backlash inside his Syriza party, went to the Greek parliament instead and denounced the creditors' conditions as a "very bad negotiating trick".

"The Greek prime minister requested a phone call for 1100 CET on Saturday, but Juncker declined because there has been no progress in the discussions, and proposals that the Greek side promised on Wednesday night to deliver on Thursday have not arrived," the EU official told Reuters.

"There have been no new developments so there was nothing to discuss," the official said.

And so the deadline for Greece's debt payment has passed. There's "nothing to discuss" now.  The markets may have a very, very different opinion on Monday morning.

1 comment:

RepubAnon said...

The markets may not react, as this was an expected outcome. However, if Spain decides to follow Greece, all bets are off.

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