Troika Puts Off Talks, Tsipras Says Greece Should Bail Out



SYRIZA Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras says Greece should take a tougher line with its lenders and get a better deal

ATHENS – Inspectors for international lenders providing Greece with critical money lifelines were to arrive on July 3, but negotiations with officials of the country’s new coalition government on whether changes will be allowed to bailout deals have been put off. The newspaper Kathimerini reported that the talks that could decide whether new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ uneasy alliance government has more time to implement more reforms will not begin until July 24.

To get a second rescue package of $173 billion, Samaras signed a deal with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that he simultaneously has vowed to both uphold and to try to amend. Greece is surviving on a first bailout of $152 billion from the lenders.

While technically in a partnership with the PASOK Socialists and Democratic Left parties who have given him their votes in Parliament, Samaras’ Conservatives are the ones who are primarily negotiating with the Troika. He will not have his new Finance Minister, noted economist Yiannis Stournaras, in place until his swearing-in, scheduled for July 5.

The technical inspectors will for now concentrate on checking Greece’s books to decide whether the next loan installments can be released. The Troika had insisted that the new government adhere to the austerity measures that have worsened a five-year recession, created 22.6 percent unemployment, shrunk the economy by 6.5 percent and closed some 1,000 businesses each week, and the lenders want another $15 billion in cuts. Samaras is anxiously trying to find ways for Greece to get two more years to impose more reforms and delay meeting fiscal targets, although the Troika had also warned it would stop payments if Greece did not follow its orders.

The July 24 date is important as a Greek state bond of $4.03 billion held by the ECB expires on August 20, and some of the other 16 countries with Greece in the Eurozone who use the euro as currency are reportedly reluctant to release further aid to Greece before talks on the debt deal have been concluded. Troika officials have indicated that they are open to hearing proposals for a different approach to implementing reforms as long as budget deficit reduction targets do not change.

Alexis Tsipras, head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party that finished a close second to New Democracy in the critical June 17 elections, told a conference sponsored by the magazine The Economist that no talks should be held unless Greece gets the same deals the EU gave Spain and Italy in bailout monies for those countries’ banks.

Tsipras said Greece was “just chasing its tail” and must immediately renounce the harsh austerity terms in the deal Samaras and Venizelos signed together when they shared a brief previous coalition. “The longer the (memorandum) lasts, the faster the social and economic resilience of the country will be exhausted,” he said.

During the campaign, Tsipras said he wanted to renegotiate the terms or renege, which Samaras said would have forced Greece out of the Eurozone. Samaras did not explain why his renegotiation hopes would not. Tsipras told The Economist audience, “Continuing the bailout’s austerity will push our country to voluntarily withdraw from the Eurozone.” He said that Greece’s young are giving up on their country and see no future. “The most important parts of society, the young scientists, the pioneers of Greece’s future, are being pushed to the margins of society and fleeing abroad.”

In Brussels, the seat of the EU, the spokesman for European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, Simon O’Connor, played down prospects for a concession to Greece, telling Kathimerini that it was too soon to say whether $63 billion in funding set aside for the recapitalization of Greek banks as part of the second bailout would be dissolved from the country’s state debt.

Greece has already diverted $23.9 billion toward refinancing the country’s banks because they, along with other private investors, suffered 74 percent losses when former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, now PASOK’s leader, imposed a so-called Private Sector Involvement (PSI) deal to help write down the country’s debt by $134 billion.
(Sources: AMNA, Reuters, Athens News/dmcu)


3 COMMENTS

  1. Greece should deliver 1st then talk later. Tsipras should shut his mouth and help reverse the situation instead of misleading unnecessary statements.

  2. First come to live in Greece, to see what people face here, then talk and say opinions…to judge others from safe place is easy. The troika’s plan is very clear now here in Greece. They start ask to sale our properties…lets see if you will like it when will come your side, let see what opinions you will say then…cause Greece is just the start. There are ways to deal any loan than to destroy a whole country, there are so many solutions and economical suggestions for this which did not happen for first time in the world and all times got solved by best way from both sides. This time troika plan to break down Greece, they don’t  care for deal or find way, they don’t care for solutions. I am Greek, my Father worked hard all his life till his 75 years, my uncle and my aunts also. I am apps developer and I am working 12 hours a day ( include Sundays ) I have to go holidays for 10 years.
    And I need to accept the ignorant people, like you, full of hate, to talk and blame Greeks ( effects by media as many Greeks also do…!) as lazy and thiefs by trying to avoid paid taxes. The Millioners of Greece who are few, may do this, but simple people who are millions are honest hard working people. Next time, before you open your mouth, try to use your brain and think before you talk, learn before you judge something your are completely ignorant of. And I remind you and all who think by your way, that, by the way you judge others you will get judged when your time will come. And this time always comes my Brother.

  3.  I do agree with Athena.
    Troika’s plan is very clear, they know that no one can stand such harsh austerity measures and eventually they will be forced to start selling national resources. This is a very well known business tactic, if you cannot win someone face to face, hit him from back.
    After the “Crime” that Germans had done against Humanity in the World War 2 ( It was not only Hitler to be blamed… there was an army of millions of Germans who supported him ) they were forgiven, given a new chance. Greeks called Off 70% of their debt was and the remaining 30% was stated to be returned only after Germany makes a come back.

    Tsipras knows what he is talking about, he is backed by the best Economic Scholars. Every logical person will agree to this. It is just a simple equation.

    Media is a key factor is spreading wrong information about the Greeks and the life inside Greece.
    Even many of the Greeks themselves have become victim to this blasphemy, but these Greeks are only who are under-educated, simple minded and afraid.

    I agree that Greek policies were anti-business, but this means that if we just change these policies Greece will sky-rocket out of these crises. Hit the root of the problem and the problem will get destroyed.

    I am living in Greece for the last 10 years and I can assure that Greeks are honest and hard working people. They just need support from the Government, good Pro-Business policies, proper Social Security charges and reduction in useless paperwork ( which generally is the reason of lot of delays for simple things). This will breath life in the Greek economy.

    Let us not forget that everything that Humanity “Knows” today has taken birth in Greece. Physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, philosophy, politics ( Democracy itself ), arts… all took birth in this country.

    Greeks have the blood of Spartans, this cannot be changed. They had always been unconquerable and they will always be. They had defeated Germany in World War 2, now the World War 3, the Economic War is going on and Take My Word… Greece is Destined to Win Again.