As Thursday approaches it’s becoming increasingly clear that while Greece should be the country panicking, it’s not. And while the EU should be the institutional lender comfortable in knowing it “holds” all the cards, it’s the one actually panicking.
Does Athens know something we don’t? Is this all theater aimed at giving speculators and insiders the opportunity to clean up a few billion in currency ups and downs? Or has Greece finally reached a point where it finally realises, new debt deal or not, the outcome will eventually be default…better sooner rather than later.
Greece has no plans to present new proposals at a meeting of European finance ministers this week, signalling the country won’t make further concessions to unlock bailout funds needed to avoid default.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Bild newspaper any new proposals would need to be thrashed out at a lower level before they could be presented to the finance ministers set to meet June 18 in Luxembourg. He said that Greece remains willing to find a solution but creditors need to take Greece’s proposals seriously to end the impasse.
Europe needs a “strong and comprehensive agreement, and we need this very soon,” European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told lawmakers at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday. “While all actors will now need to go the extra mile, the ball lies squarely in the camp of the Greek government to take the necessary steps.”
With signs that negotiating fatigue was stoking intransigence on all sides, some euro-area officials publicly raised the prospect of Greece’s exit from the currency region as the Greek government suggested it had reached the limits of its ability to make concessions. Greece is resisting demands for further cuts in pension spending as well as tax increases.
Government backers plan to rally on Wednesday at the central square in Athens, according to a call posted on Facebook pages. Governing party officials, including Deputy Minister for Social Insurance Dimitris Stratoulis, have urged their followers on social media to join the demonstration.
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