Redlined Comparison Of The Eurogroup Draft Varoufakis Was Ready To Sign, And The Draft He Rejected

Tyler Durden's picture

Just like last week, the reason for the bitterly acrimonious collapse of today's Eurogroup attempt to resolve the Greek crisis, was in the wording of the proposed final Eurogroup draft. And, just like last week, while the Greek FinMin was initially willing to sign a specific draft (in this case penned by Moscovici), it was subsequently revised to a draft which Varoufakis threw up all over, leading to a premature end of today's discussions, one which for the second time in a week prevented the Eurogroup from even issuing a joint statement.

So what exactly was the reason for the Greek disagreement?

Now that both the acceptable, pre-revision (source), and rejected, post-revision (source) texts are available, we can find precisely which inserted and deleted words resulted in a surge in the Greek's blood pressure.

Presenting: the red-line (or rather blue-line) comparison between the two drafts, none of which was ultimately signed by anyone.

Some of the key variations:

  • the addition that the Greek authorities "intend to successfully conclude the programme taking into account the new government plans", something which when listening to the Varoufakis presser was clearly not the case.
  • the addition that Greek authorities will commit to "refrain from unilateral action"
  • the addition of specific reform parameters including "tax policy, privatisation, labour market, financial sector and pensions"
  • the addition of a Greek commitment (not agreement) to guarantee (not ensure) "debt sustainability in line with the targets agreed in the November 2012 Eurogroup statement."

And the punchline: the language about the "six month technical extension" not of the current loan agreement as an intermediate step, but of the "programme", and the addition of the explicit "bridge" language.

No mention of the Troika in either of the drafts.

The question of just who ordered the last minute change will remain unanswered, but we suggest all inquiries be directed to the country with the 49 area code.



Update: the Channel 4's Paul Mason has some more:


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booboo's picture

Printed with disappearing ink no doubt

knukles's picture

Strangely, it doesn't say anything either way, really.
Only thing matter is where's the money on the due date.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Those informed they are the weakest are sometimes the most powerful. Ignore the lies Greece.

Stackers's picture

3 days

A "working weekend"

untold millions in catering bills and travel expenses

all to argue over the wording of a one page statement for the plan they are hoping to put together.


permafrost's picture

Something tells me that they agreed to the verbiage Varoufakis asked for knowing that they would change it back to the original and hoping that he wouldn't spot the difference before he signed.  Their big mistake was removing "humanitarian crisis" as he has had a real hard-on for that phrase ever since he appeared on the stage.  I guess when he saw that missing, he dug deeper and realized what happened.

I have to admit, if this was their plan, it was a pretty clever move to send him back south with egg on his face.  Too bad for them Varoufakis has quite the eagle eye on him.

brooklynlou's picture

Dude. I get the Greeks are broke. But any lawyer working for them with two iq points to rub together would run a delta view or work share compard on it to see the changes.

philipat's picture

When you owe the Bank $350K, you have a problem. When you owe the Bank $350 Billion, the Bank has a problem.

It seems to me that the Eurogroup has two choices:Get SOME of the principal returned or get NONE of the principal returned.

So it might be time to stop the arrogance and BS and get real...

armageddon addahere's picture

There is no principal and never was. They aren't going to get any of it back and they never were. No principal, no interest, no nothing ever.

Every government in the world operates the same way. Borrow money and never repay, just keep borrowing more every year. When everyone thinks you can't go on any longer, come up with another slick trick, another quick fix, another gimmick.

If they won't loan you any more then just refuse to pay. Don't pay back any of it, default, repudiate the debt, if you can't inflate it away to nothing.

In a year or two the same banks will be begging you to borrow again.

philipat's picture

The Balance SHeets of the ECB and several of the large German and French Commercial Banks might see things slightly differently. And remember, Deutsche Bank already has enormous leverage.

thinkmoretalkless's picture

BO as Holder regretted has just not been able to disarm Americans so when the SHTF it could get messy.

Occident Mortal's picture

If I was the Greek negotiator I would just walk.

Call a press conference and declare "The money you have lent us is gone, negotiations to restructure the repayment of Greek public debt have failed. As a result from 6:00am tomorrow we the people of Greece will cease to recognise the immoral and unjust debt obligations of former corrupt Greek governments and we the people of Greece will halt all payments to service those debts ad infinitum".

brooklynlou's picture

It's the kibuki dance. They can't just print drachmas without them being able to prove to the greek voters that they bent over backward.

Bob's picture

They're playing the Greeks as greenhorned chumps. 

Now we see if the Greeks can rise above the natural human response to such profound disrespect and stay smart.  

Will egotism and/or undermining self-doubt steer the Greeks right into the EU-meisters' hands?

Varoufakis and Tspiras are being tested by fire, imo. 

SWRichmond's picture

The Hellenic government commits to being our bitch, and to enslaving the people against their will, and all future generations which will never have an opportunity to agree or disagree, forever.

Bob's picture

Long as Investors are freed from "Financial Repression," Liberty will reign, so it's all good I guess.

Apparently the bully who is choking you out in the name of what is most sacred among "civilized people" is the good guy when he gives you one last chance to lick his ass for even one more breath. 


overmedicatedundersexed's picture

hoping greece does what many of us want and would be a small step to opening eyes wide shut across the west..the scots had a chance and went with the route the Irish all to often have taken..too bad that.

armageddon addahere's picture

Have you ever tried to collect a debt from a Greek?

The Duke of New York A No.1's picture


SloMoe's picture

Classic bait and switch. Not very subtle, but when have Germans ever been subtle?

DetectiveStern's picture

How long before someone nailguns Varuofakis?


ThirteenthFloor's picture

Varuofakis is protected by Russia and China. The nail gun guy was a victim of Russian mob, very dirty. The guys pushed from rooftops are CIA/ESF or Mossad jobs.

Now if signs up to more EU banker misery then he should watch his step.

TJ00's picture

Germans think the gas chambers and the ovens were subtle, hell even the language is violent to the ears.

Renfield's picture

Brilliant, what a keeper. This redline makes the respective positions clear and unambiguous: the Greeks demanded a renegotiated deal, and the ECB demanded "as is". Nearly ALL the revised language of the draft reverses the language of the original and reverts it to the opposite meaning - to a complete "as is", no changes, right down to the struck-through "newly" before "agreed" at the end of the page.

No wonder the situation is acrimonious. The ECB seems to have treated the draft with utter contempt. I am amazed at how far in denial their "negotiators" appear to be. They really must be stuck in a corner with no way out, if this is still their perspective. What stupid stubbornness, no room to move at all, how hilarious! To my eyes these revisions make the ECB look desperate.

The only revisions I concur with, are the ones that revert the spelling to Commonwealth Standard. Oh, and a few comma insertions, some of those were good too.

Fantastic presentation, so clear, thanks Tyler.

Oldwood's picture

Its all a play for those who money will ultimately be stolen. Germany must act aggressive in their pursuit of their investors capital, and Greece must look like they are fighting for their people...but in the end, there is no money to pay these debts, they will not be paid...ever. But they can't say that. They must represent the threat of default to motivate the lenders to believe if they do not compromise, write down the debt, they will lose it all...but still no default. It all voluntary you see. No default and NO Grexit. The Union Must Stay Intact. Its about power, and debt is the ultimate lever to power, much more than simple wealth. To own is powerful but to be owed is all powerful.

Renfield's picture

Oldwood, I upvoted you for a well explained comment, but I disagree. To be owed is, in fact, the weaker position unless (and sometimes until) a creditor can back up its demands with physical force. The threat of physical force, the police/military option, may mitigate a lender's risk, but even that does not make lending risk-free, no matter that governments and bankers need their debtors to believe in their power to enforce demands. In this case, the military enforcement option seems quite problematic, not least for NATO. I would call it a non-starter in this case.

In reality, the ultimate lending risk is always on the lender, and even though that risk can be postponed it cannot be cancelled. This redline says (to me) that Greece does not need the ECB, but the ECB does need Greece. It honestly looks desperate to me; it's like the ECB cannot afford even the smallest flexibility. No matter how reasonable or necessary a renegotiation is - and everyone across the board except the Troika admits this - the ECB seems unable to afford to consider even the smallest change in position.

It looks to me as though they realise they have boxed themselves in so tightly that they cannot budge at all; without military/police force the Troika is in a straitjacket. The Greeks have several options (albeit they are all painful ones), but the ECB looks to have none at all. Vid the redline's insistence, line by line, on a complete adherence to status quo. It looks to me as though they have nothing to negotiate with.

Oldwood's picture

If it is the lender at risk, why is it those in debt who are the ones seemingly suffering. we seldom hear the plight of those defaulted upon. I agree that for you or I to be the lender is risky indeed, but I think those who hold this level of debt are a bit more "aggressive" in their solutions.

brooklynlou's picture

They suffer till they don't.

aka_ces's picture

"the ultimate lending risk is always on the lender" who in this case may nevertheless attempt to 'fix' the risk with bail-ins and other forms of confiscation, from the populace at large.

SDShack's picture

I said earlier on another post that the bankers only have one position and this just proved it. These sociopath bankers only care about winning.... at ALL costs. Greece has at least 4 options in response. 1- refuse to pay, thereby forcing the bankers to capitulate. 2- obtain alternative financing (outside of the EU) 3-Grexit (and go totally alone like Iceland). 4- Cave. Both parties are stuck on their Plan 1 at this time so this is going to continue for awhile. No matter what happens, Greece better be prepared for serious pain because sociopaths don't know any other way. In their twisted mind, they have to make Greece pay no matter what.... and at a minimum, make Greece a bad example to discourage any of the other PIIGS from trying the same thing.

Renfield's picture

<<they have to make Greece pay no matter what>>

...which is a physical impossibility.

If their only alternative to status quo is physically impossible - which is what this redline leads me to think - then they are quite boxed in, not a position of strength. Just as you say, Greece does have other options. I'm not arguing that Greece is not up shit creek. They most certainly are and they better have some good friends outside the Anglo Axis when this is over because they will need them. But relative to the box the ECB has woken up in, personally I'd rather be on Greece's side of the table than the Troika's right now. Before today, seeing this right from the horse's mouth, I really had no idea that the ECB's position was this weak. I just assumed - they're negotiating, right? So they must have options in mind, or some kind of flexibility.

Well, I guess I can see now why they're calling for a weaker negotiator at the table than Varoufakis... it seems the Troika cannot afford to face any negotiation at all.

SDShack's picture

There are many ways to make someone "pay" besides repayment of money owed. A sociopath will do anything to win... bribe, threaten, extort, torture, murder, incite revolution, stage a coup, etc. Sociopaths will get their pound of flesh some way, even if it ultimately means destroying themselves. That's what truly sick twisted fuckers they are. Even if the bankers lose, they will make Greece such a complete shithole that no other PIIGS will dare try it.

Chartsky's picture

I agree the Banksters are sociopathic -- they are everywhere else -- and will try to make Greece "pay" through retribution if they don't get their greedy profits they demand.


But I also think there are other current EU countries those Banksters had better be just as concerned with.  Maybe moreso.  Spain, Italy, Ireland, etc.


This would be a masterful time for Putin and China and the rest of the BRICs to step-in and make a major league move.


And this will almost certainly reverberate "across the pond" and put huge pressure on the FED who has used some of the same pages from the worn-out playbook.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Renfield; I like all your comments here. Makes me think.

Basically, Bankers Play Hard Ball. They don't give up. They don't admit the Truth no matter what. They say there is "No Way", "No Give", "impossible to take write downs".... this is all absurd. These bankers made this system, made it all connected, and the basis of business is that people fail, businesses fail, Investors lose sometimes, Risk would no make sense as a topic if Investors always won their bets. Yeah, Tough Like Huns, Tough like the Golden Horde.

My take has been different. Looking at the US 2008 Financial Crisis where spies in the Treasury stated we might have Martial Law in the Streets. Or the one where Blankfien says we are doing gods work. William K. Black says they took (paraphrase) like 5,000 FBI agents to process state AG Referrals (Files of case) and took over 10 years, and prosecuted like 5,000 banking executives in the US S&L Banking Scandal, and that 2008 was like 10-50 times worse...

(so that they would need to prosecute 20,000 -50,000 Bankers and face a National Crisis in World Markets as US Reputation & Currency would be in Question)

National Security - US as leader of the world Financial markets, Biggest Economy, Biggest Market, Super Power... Collapses due to Systemic Fraud triggering Foreign Markets all Fleeing to safety at once and maybe even planning some military or financial punishment for the USA... Instead we bailout foreign Investors at the biggest Banks, and we Bailout our TBTF Banks, Even pay the Bankers to manage the Bailout and don't require them to surrender any wealth.

- Hard Ball by experts promoted for being tough and being able to Lie in public and on camera.
- Hard Ball by experts who own the governments, sovereigns, and Diplomats.

- Game Over, unless countries "Opt Out"

- If Europe's TBTF (ETBTF?) can't fix the Banking System, then let them lead the Collapse.
- I'm sure there are Lawyers & Bankers who would be glad to handle the Corporate Dissolution of Assets for ETBTF Banks

Haager's picture

I kind of know this behaviour, as part of bad relationship.

Spread it in the news so that the ++49-region will wish it had left the draft unchanged.

techstrategy's picture

I hope Greece just does a deal with Russia and China after fully repudiating EC...  Time for global relocalization and return to sovereignty rather than the Banksters organizations...  Of the people, by the people and for the people, not TBTJ.

WhyWait's picture

When Papademos tried to take Greece out of the Euro, he is said to have said Pres. Sarcozy (sp) whispered in his ear - if you do I will kill you.

This story must be well known in Greece.  Things in Greece have developed beyond the point where a few assassinations could turn them back, but the German and EU attitude is of masters who expect to be obeyed, giving a final warning.  

Next EU move: a NATO directed coup? A false flag followed by a NATO invasion? 

Does Greece have a preemptive move?  Firing the top brass? Not before they make a move. A Russian or Chinese military base? Again, that would be a provocation. A deal with Russia and or China to build Greece's part of the new Southstream pipeline would be provocative but a necessary risk.  It will be a signal that Greece has somewhere to turn if they have time.  But it doesn't answer the direct threat.

No, I think it's the EU's move next.  Greece's junior officers and enlisted career soldiers have undoubtedly been watching closely.  Syriza can call the people to the streets, but Greece's fate will be in the hands of its soldiers. Will they allow a repeat the fascist episode of the 1970's and follow the generals?  Or will they stand with the people?

All of Europe will be watching - and maybe erupting.

thamnosma's picture

Why aren't they just leaving the Euro?

new game's picture

fear driven retention of milk from the tit...

think two yr old bear cub having to face finding food on its' own...

booboo's picture

"fear driven retention of milk from the tit.."

Mastitis can be very painful...........for the Euro Cow, which only confirms that the debt merchants have to create new debt milk as the existing debt milk is being destroyed.

Milk the cow or she dies of mastitis

new game's picture

the cow needs to be slaughtered and cut up for hamburger/sauasage and sent directly to germany. sumtin better that no ting.


Oldwood's picture

They are bad renters. They complain about the paint and the smelly carpets (that they never clean) after refusing to pay the rent. Do you really think they are going to move out if you don't evict them? Free rent...I don't think so. Trust me. Moochers will suffer any indignity to live rent free.

new game's picture

i keep thinking the bulldozers are coming to level the fucker. think'g econ hitmen.


Oldwood's picture

The Greeks will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Tuesday comes and the Greeks show up with a paper bag full of shit and say...

"the burger was of poor quality and was sold to us under false pretenses of satisfying our hunger, so we are returning it to you"

Upon your complaint that this payment is unacceptable, they reply...

by setting the bag of shit on fire, leaving you to stamp it out with your best shoes or watch your house burn down.

Solutions...sure thats what we need.

I smell something....

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Made me laugh anyway. In my youth I succesfully executed the bag of shit trick a few times. Fond memories.

Oldwood's picture

There really aren't any good guys in any of this. They should have never borrowed money they knew they could not repay and those lending should have known better as well, but there are those who are playing the long game, using every weakness against us...and easy money is a weakness. Its about destruction..and power.