Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 15 saying that it is impossible for Greece to fulfill its obligations to lenders unless it gets short-term financial aid.
Financial Times has obtained the five-page letter Tsipras has sent to Merkel prior to the European Union summit last Thursday. In the letter, the Greek prime minister asks that institutions release liquidity because Greece may not be able to meet its financial obligations to lenders by the end of April.
In the letter, the Greek premier expresses concerns over four issues and stresses the need:
a) the mutual acceptance of terms of the reforms to be implemented,
b) “to allow the European Central Bank to re-introduce the waiver in accordance with its procedures and regulations,”
c) “to commence work between the technical teams on a possible new Contract for Recovery and Development” between Greece and creditors,
d) to discuss enacting the 2012 Eurogroup decision regarding further financial assistance.
Tsipras also claims there are developments that undermine the Greek effort, stressing that:
a) on February 4 the “ECB lifted the waiver for minimum credit rating requirements for marketable instruments issued by the Hellenic Republic.” Also ECB referred Greek banks to the Bank of Greece emergency liquidity assistance and at the same time it is raising the ELA’s ceiling at shorter intervals. Also, Greek banks cannot hold more Treasury-bills than they did on February 18.
b) after the failure of the previous government to complete the scheduled reviews, disbursements under the loan agreements were discontinued, thereby creating fiscal gaps in 2014 and 2015.
The Greek premier also claims that the technical teams of lenders that came to Athens to review progress of the reforms showed “little regard for the February 20th Eurogroup agreement” and the people’s mandate of the January 25th elections.
Concluding, Tsipras says that Greece will fulfill its obligations in good faith and urges the German Chancellor “not to allow a small cash flow issue, and a certain ‘institutional inertia,’ to turn into a large problem for Greece and for Europe.”
The letter sets the agenda for today’s meeting between the heads of state of Germany and Greece in the German Chancellery in Berlin. Merkel has stated that she is looking forward to the meeting with Tsipras and expressed her optimism that discussions will have a good outcome.
Government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis stated today that the letter was also sent to French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He also said that the letter prompted the two European leaders to agree to last Thursday’s meeting between Tsipras, Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, ECB President Mario Draghi and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijssebloem on the sidelines of the EU summit.
Read the full letter here.