The negotiations between Greece and its creditors came to an abrupt end on Sunday, June 14, so Greece is now entering a critical and decisive week.
According to Bloomberg after a 45-minute meeting in Brussels, the differences that still separate the two sides were revealed. “The focus now shifts to a June 18 meeting in Luxembourg of euro-area finance ministers, known collectively as the Eurogroup, that may become a make-or-break session deciding Greece’s ability to avert default and its continued membership in the 19-nation euro area,” noted the article
The European Commission’s message at the end of the discussion left many unanswered questions. According to Bloomberg, “the latest failed attempt to find a formula to unlock as much as 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in aid for the anti-austerity government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras brings Greece closer to the abyss.”
Meanwhile, the Financial Times noted that the abrupt end of the meeting is a clear sign that shows the differences between Athens and the institutions may be too large to be bridged. Furthermore, the newspaper added that the possibility of Athens not securing the €7.2bn in bailout aid it needs to avoid defaulting on its debts has increased significantly.
“The eurogroup meeting is seen by many officials as the last chance for Athens to secure agreement on a list of economic reforms its creditors are demanding in order to release the €7.2bn before Greece’s EU bailout runs out at the end of the month,” noted the newspaper.
Finally, German politician and head of the Social Democrats (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel wrote an article for the German newspaper Bild, commenting that the European’s patience with Greece is wearing thin. “We want to help Greece and also keep them in the euro. But not only is time running out but so too is patience across Europe. Everywhere in Europe, the sentiment is growing that enough is enough,” he wrote.
“Repeated apparently final attempts to reach a deal are starting to make the whole process look ridiculous. There is an ever greater number of people who feel as if the Greek government is giving them the run-around,” he added.