Tsipras Warns IMF, Schauble To "Stop Playing With Fire" Over Greek Debt

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after Greek 2Y bond yields tumbled following press reports that for the first time in the latest Greek mini-crisis, the IMF and Eurozone creditors finally agreed on a "common stance" regarding what the Greek fiscal surplus and debt profile would look like, despite talks between Greece and its creditors ending in Brussels with no breakthrough, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras on Saturday warned the IMF and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to "stop playing with fire" in handling his country's debt.

Nonetheless, striking a positive tone, Tsipras opened a meeting of his Syriza party by saying he was confident a solution would be found, and urged a change of course from the IMF. "We expect as soon as possible that the IMF revise its forecast so that discussions can continue at the technical level", AFP reported, suggesting that contrary to initial reports, the bid-ask between the Troika and Greece still remains irreconcilable .

Tsipras also attacked Greek nemesis Wolfgang Schauble - who earlier in the week ruled out a Greek debt cut, saying "for that Greece would have to exit the currency area"- and called for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "encourage her finance minister to end his permanent aggressiveness" towards Greece.

As documented before, ongoing feuding with the IMF has raised fears of a new debt crisis. Greece, whose economic collapse is now worse than the US Great Depression - remains embroiled in a row with its eurozone paymasters and the IMF over debt relief and budget targets that has rattled markets and revived talk of its place in the euro. 

A silver lining emerged on Friday, when Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said progress had been made in the Brussels talks with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other EU and IMF officials. But he provided few details.“Today the Greek minister of Finance, the institutions (European Commission, ECB, ESM and IMF) and I had a constructive meeting on the state of play of the second review,” Dijsselbloem said in statement sent by text message to Bloomberg. “There is a clear understanding that a timely finalization of the second review is in everybody’s interest" and added that "we made substantial progress today and are close to common ground for the mission to return to Athens the coming week."

Judging by the latest comments from Tsipras - who now badly lags behind New Democracy in the polls, and may have no choice but to stand strong on his anti-austerity promises or else lose risking control - that may have been an optimistic assessment.

Then again, with Greece nothing happens until the last minute, and conveniently that particular deadline once again coincides with a major debt repayment deadline: the Athens government faces €7 billion in maturities this summer that it cannot afford without conceding to Troika demands which are holding up new loans from Greece's 86 billion euro bailout.

However, Greece does not have much time. Breaking the stalemate in the coming weeks is seen as paramount with elections in the Netherlands on March 15 and France in April through June threatening to make a resolution even more difficult. Dijsselbloem also warned Friday that the next meeting of eurozone ministers on February 20,  seen as an unofficial deadline ahead of the votes, would still be too early for a breakthrough.

"We will take stock of the further progress (during that meeting)", said Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister.

With a barrage of European political risk events in the coming months, including elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany, a potential undiffused Greek time bomb lurking in the background could be just the catalyst that breaks the record low volatility doldrums that the market has found itself in in recent months.

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BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

The IMF needs to get Greece off its plate so they can deal with the US default.

bwh1214's picture

Greece is back at the top of the list as a critical mass default candidate.

Escrava Isaura's picture

IMF and Schauble will miss Tsipras when TSHTF.

IMF and Schauble are trapped on their own demise, because these rich (billionaires and millionaires) folks have nothing else to take from the poor, but, in fact, they need to start giving it back.

But, even if they wanted to give it back, they can’t, because it’s all a financial fraud, meaning, they would have to screw their own workers by stealing from their pension plans, which most have been stolen already.

Well, I guess they could apply for a bailout…………….While giving them a tax break. 


Déjà view's picture

He blinked 2015...don't let door hit your A$$ on your way out...surprised this charlatan has not been replaced with someone who respects voters wishes!

monk27's picture

Sorry, but Greece in non-unfuckable at present. They had their chance... and missed.

CuttingEdge's picture

What did Tsipras do last time after the promises that got him elected?

Bent over and took it up the arse, wasn't it?

Anyone actually expecting him to be any different this time?


MEFOBILLS's picture

Never let you money extend past your law.

Greece ignored this prime directive.

Money's true nature is law.

Greece printed up sovereign bonds (within greek law), then had said bonds monetized by German and English banks - converting a future promise into private bank Euro credit for today.

The bank debt denominated in Euros (creates credit outside of Greek law), then flowed to Greece, and then promptly left Greek economy.  How?  Bank credit Euro's left to buy BMW's and other German goods, as Germany is as mercantilist economy (exports more than imports).

Germany ignores another prime directive:  All foreign trade is only barter.  All foreign trade should balance.

Germany then imports former Greek Euros in imbalanced trade (bad).

Greece ignores yet another prime directive, they allow their debt to go exponential.  Never refinance interest.  New sovereign bonds are created to refinance old sovereign bonds.  This then converts interest in old bond, into principle of new bond.  The interest then goes exponential, and outside of the ability of nature to pay.  Greece has then screwed the future for today.

Meantime, sociopaths like Schauble are wiling to destroy Greek citizens future, by taking their already paid for commons (airports and fixed assets) to pay foreign bondholders (mostly Germans) forever.  German's should be embarassed.  They are acting like Jews, taking rents on the vulnerable.  Worse, German's had their Nazi debts erased by America post war, and further nations like Greece were forbidden from suing Germany.  But, since Germany's real history has been erased by our ((friends)), then you get a sort of brain dead German population exemplified by Schauble.

Human's are generally stupid when it comes to money; greed and usury funded in-group behavior has spread mass hypnosis in form of false doctrines. So, most people, especially paid for politicians, are walking zombies with bad wetware informing their behavior.

Another law:

All nations are sovereign and exist for their people, not the "international."


itstippy's picture

Excellent synopsis.  Why doesn't Reuters reprint this word-for-word?

stocker84's picture

The one time Excrement Imsoreass, who happens to be dead between the ears, makes any sense, he's plagiarizing from the choir.

Maybe there is hope for IT yet.

at any rate, because the left in the states has no pronounced stance on this issue because they are too ignorant about Greece, Euro, Europe et al, Excrement defers to the right. Right, ak as correct... As well as politically

itstippy's picture

Xythras, what in Hell does your post have to do with Greece?  The article is about Greece, not voter fraud in the U.S.  Are you on some kind of drugs or something?

OverTheHedge's picture

Just a sad spammer, like all the others. If he paid Tyler to advertise, he could have his articles put on the banner, and we could treat them the same way we treat Phoenix capital.

stocker84's picture

Short answer: or something

abyssinian's picture

Tsipras just bend over you spineless loser, get screw without lube again and again...freaking disgrace

Yen Cross's picture

 What are you gonna do Tsipras?  Have another referendum and fuck the Greeks over again, you spineless pussy!

Bay of Pigs's picture

Karma and payback are a bitch.

He will learn the hard way in the end.

SpanishGoop's picture

"Nonetheless, striking a positive tone, Tsipras opened a meeting of his Syriza party by saying he was confident a solution would be found, and urged a change of course from the IMF. "We expect as soon as possible that the IMF revise its forecast so that discussions can continue at the technical level","

Fucking unbelievable, this guy is really in stage three denial.

Next up for him, a stage four job in Brussels.



wolf pup's picture

Tsipras stands with his soggy paper match in hand, barking loudly..

cowdiddly's picture

Does'nt this clown Ysipas know he is supposed to TWEET that? geeze some guys never learn.

SpanishGoop's picture

And on Friday evening late so we have the whole weekend to take positions.


me or you's picture

Tsipras is a fucking traitor. 

carbonmutant's picture

Bought and paid for... Greeks aren't going anywhere as long as the Brussels is holding him by the short hairs...

Got The Wrong No's picture

I wouldn't want to deal with Wolfgang Schauble, he always looks like someone has been pissing in his Wheaties.

BritBob's picture

Message to Greece - just leave the Eurozone, set your own interest rates and drop the Euro. That way you can finally attract inward investment and pay off some of your debts. 

Regarding the UK - The UK has opted for a hard Brexit especially when one country (or part of a country in Belgium) can stall negotiations for so long. Spain could act in a similar fashion over Gibraltar and has the cheek to maintain its Gibraltar sovereignty claim. Claim?

Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa...

So it looks like a quick hasta luego !

DrData02's picture

The silver lining would be the dissolution of the EU.

Herdee's picture

The three star pick. Holland, France and Greece. That should do it.

Know shit's picture

I'm, was..., taking Greece as a sample on how long it takes for the people to stop being screwed and take action.

I think I won't live long enough.....

Take care.

Dragon HAwk's picture

What are they going to do, Stop pretending that they are going to pay them Back ?

RabbitOne's picture

If Greece were a business this would be its 20th or is it 30th time in chapter 11. A some point the judge (IMF, EU or Germany) is going to give up and say go to chapter 7. I suspect this will only happen if the EU looks like it will be dissolved. Otherwise it is more Tsipras charades...

the lion of flanders's picture

Tsipras is giving us "the middle finger" and our finance ministers will let him get away with it!


The upcoming elections in France , The Netherlands , Germany and maybe Italy would become a disaster for the elites , worse than Trump and Brexit.

The last 4 or 5 times the EU and the IMF came to the rescue of the Greeks, theypromised it was going to be the last time.

They all had " No more euro' not even a cent to Greece" in their last election slogans.

Unlike TRUMP , what they do and what they say  .. it is like day and night

1.21 jigawatts's picture

Golden Dawn is the only solution.

Everyone else is cuckhold business-as-usual.

messystateofaffairs's picture

Tsipras is full of watery shit. As a socialist he has no idea what to do to wake up a dead economy. He can no more help Greece than Maduro can help Venezuela. His threats mean nothing.

cwsuisse's picture

Further pension cuts are irresponsible and could kill people. Evidently Schaeuble, Merkel, Dijsselbloom, Coeure and Regling are engaged in what amounts to criminal activities. Tsipras made a big, big mistake and sold his soul to the devil.


marcel tjoeng's picture




Tsipras is the coward who pulled the plug on Yanis Varoufakis' plan to issue digital money through the electronic tax database, and delivered the Greek people to Jeroen Dijsselbloem's Eurogroup.

Tsipras at this very moment can still revive that plan.

He could also add additional loans from specifically Germany and German banks, as much as he is able to get hold of, and then declare default, to get even and just for fun.

The EC should be dissolved of course, it is run by thieves and hoodlums.




localstorm's picture

Does anyone understand what IMF and Germany want to get out of this?

Greece cannot pay unless it is given money to pay. What's a point to give money to Greece to get them back thru Greek Minestery of Finance?

HTZMR's picture

Good fucking riddance. He has been a disaster for Greece and Europe. I hope there is some justice in this world and he gets what he truly deserves.

Pretorian's picture

They are getting ready to fuck Greece for good. Let them have new debt agreement with Mr. Putin. Greece under mafia agreeement. lol


NoWayJose's picture

Man up or go back to your little Tsippy Cup!

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

A note to Greece...

"UNFUCK" U.S., U.K. EU?...

Too late!

You should have done it 3 years ago when you knew Yanis Varou"fuckUS" and "Alexis" bent you all over without the "lube"!!!

We're all prisoner/slaves NOW!... DEAL WITH IT!!!

hairball48's picture

Message to the Greeks:

If you want your country back, ditch Tsipras, the EU and restore your sovereignty, dignity and currency. It's that simple.

Squilliam Fancyson's picture

Make no mistake, it was Goldman Sucks in collusion with German ploticians (sic!) who lured (bribed) the Greek government into the EU. It was not Tsipras or Varoufakis who appear in a later chapter of this crime tale and it was certainly not the Greek people.

Don't read me wrong, I don't like Tsipras, he has betrayed the entire continent but Varoufakis is not the bad guy. He has blown the lid on behind-closed-door negotiations on many occasions and buzzed off before the shit hit the fan for a reason. He was involved but it seems as if he was actually trying to right some wrongs back then. He is very smart though, that's for sure.

And no, I have no seal in this fight.

Batman11's picture

Alan Greenspan bought in new ideas of using monetary policy to control economies and his critics said this was far too broad a brush.

Before Governments had used targeted solutions for problems as they arose.  

His critics were right, but like everything in the globalisation project, the neoliberal ideology must hold sway even when it doesn’t work.

After the dot.com boom things start going wrong, but things won’t really blow up until 2008.

After the dot.com crash Alan Greenspan loosened monetary policy to get the economy going again. The broad brush effect stoked a housing boom.

When he tightened interest rates, to cool down the economy, the broad brush effect burst the housing bubble. The teaser rate mortgages unfortunately introduced enough of a delay so that cause and effect were too far apart to see the consequences of interest rate rises as they were occurring.

The end result 2008.

The ECB helped Germany get over its dot.com bust when the Neuer Markt collapsed by 97%.

The low interest rates were lapped up across the Euro-zone leading to a massive increase in borrowing outside Germany. Borrowing creates money and this led to a surge of new money entering these economies, increasing prices and wages with real estate bubbles forming in Greece, Spain, Ireland and Holland.

Holland has yet to blow up its economy and desperately tries to keep its housing bubble inflated in every way it can, it knows what happens when real estate bubbles burst.

Germany itself was in a state of shock after the dot.com bust, it didn’t borrow and tightened its belt becoming more competitive.

This early application of monetary policy caused a further divergence in the Euro-zone economies making Germany more competitive again and the other nations less competitive.

The housing bubbles in Greece, Spain and Ireland wreck their economies.

The Euro-zone problems were compounded by an assumption by the financial sector, everyone would be bailed out by Germany.

Interest rates were almost the same across the Euro-zone and Greek interest rates were marginally higher as this was the weakest economy. Lending to Greece yields the highest profit and Germany would bail it out if it all goes wrong.

This assumption proves false after 2008 and the Euro-zone crisis really gets going. Interest rates rise rapidly in the Club-Med nations, especially Greece, the once sustainable debt is now unsustainable.   

After, 2008 all the Central Banks loosen monetary policy.

Bubbles are blown in asset prices across the globe.

Real estate bubbles inflate further in Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden ....

Monetary policy is far too broad a brush to control economies.

Never mind let’s blow up some more economies before we can admit it, neo-liberalism is an ideology and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work.

Justin Case's picture

The aid programs were badly designed by Greece’s lenders, the European Central Bank, the Europe Union and the International Monetary Fund. Their priority, a report says, was to save not the Greek people, but its banks and private creditors.

After six years of ongoing bailouts amounting to more than €220 billion, or $253 billion in loans, Greece just cannot get out of crisis mode.

This accusation has been around for a long time. But now, for the first time, the Berlin-based ESMT has compiled a detailed calculation over 24 pages. Their economists looked at every individual loan instalment and examined where the money from the first two aid packages, amounting to €215.9 billion, actually went. Researchers found that only €9.7 billion, or less than 5 percent of the total, ended up in the Greek state budget, where it could benefit citizens directly. The rest was used to service old debts and interest payments.

Above all, the rescue of Greek banks has proved to be a catastrophic business for taxpayers. According to ESMT calculations, €37.3 billion from the first two bailouts were poured into the Greek financial institutions. But these bank aids have now been almost completely destroyed.  Since their recapitalization on 2013, the banks have lost around 98% of their stock market value.

A “haircut” for Greece at the beginning of the credit programs in 2010 would have been probably more meaningful. Although the German government would then possibly have to support the German banks with state aid. “But it would have been at least clear where the money is going,” Rocholl said. Much controversy between the governments in Athens and Berlin would have been avoided – and it would have been cheaper for the German taxpayers too, the study have found.

jstrack's picture

Of course, everyone knew at the time of the bailouts that it was just money to bailout the bankers...basically a bailout of EU banks at the expense of the people.  The EU is not in favor bail-in's when it affects them, but if they can squeeze the money out of common people in Greece, well of course they will do that.  Greek leadership had to see this bad deal.  Why they went along with the bail-outs and the mandate of the people is a mystery.  One of the worst deals ever made...

jstrack's picture

Why would the EU believe that Greek leadership is serious and that there is a bite behind the bark?  Greek government will fold to the EU as usuall no matter what the EU asks.


ThanksIwillHaveAnother's picture

Greece has a lot to pay for over the last 100 or so years being a debt whore.

Dre4dwolf's picture

Greece one of the few countries that received no WWII reparations.

You try rebuilding a country after Nazis bombed the hell out of it with zero money zero loans and half your population dead.

And the Greeks DID IT, they rebuilt civilization , repopulated, they were doing great, they had low debt a good export economy a good tourist economy.


-Historical Fact

tarabel's picture



Okay, Mr. Historical Fact,

Let's start with the historical fact that Yugoslavia had 11% of its total population killed in WWII to take the gold medal in that category.

Which means your claim that Greece lost half is population as "historical fact" is wildly false, and makes it safe to discount all of your other claims without needing to refute them individually.