European Commission Seeks Alternatives to Replace Troika

Jean-Claude JunckerPresident of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is seeking alternatives to replace the troika of Greece’s international creditors, a Handelsblatt report says.

According to the German financial newspaper, the European Commission is looking to abolish the troika of representatives of the EC, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund monitoring Greeces’ bailout program and replace it with another mechanism. President Juncker said this was a request by new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Handelsblatt says that the German government supports the idea.

According to a report by citing a source close to Juncker, the EC president says that the idea should not be announced yet because the commission does not want to look like it backs down so easily under pressure by the newly elected Greek leftist government.

The Greek government announced last Friday that it will not continue to cooperate with the troika on the bailout program. The announcement was made by Greece’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during an official meeting with President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijssebloem in Athens.

According to the same report, President Juncker told his colleagues that the meeting on Wednesday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has to do mainly with the possible substitution of Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos who is candidate for President of the Hellenic Republic. The two men will not discuss the next Greek bailout program.

President Juncker does not intend to give the portfolio of home affairs to another Greek candidate and he is going to make that clear to the Greek PM. Also, Juncker thinks that the visits of Martin Schulz and Jeroen Dijssebloem in Athens last week were premature and they didn’t do any good for the upcoming negotiations.

On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that any further debt relief for Greece is unlikely, as banks had already written off billions of the country’s debt.