Following "Very Difficult" Troika Teleconference, Greece Nowhere Near A Deal As Sunday Night Deadline Approaches

Tyler Durden's picture

It is not shaping up to be a pleasant weekend for Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, who as a reminder until June 17, 2011 was the Greek defense minister and likely the man responsible for buying up all that European military equipment (with whose money nobody knows), or his boss, G-Pap successor and former ECB VP Lucas Papademos. The reason is that Greece is scrambling to reach a deal with the Troika that permits the €130 billion second bailout to be disbursed (unclear how the €15 billion add on would be theater), yet a key precondition of Troika demands is labor reform (a cut of the €750/month minimum wage, and various headcut reductions across the nation), which however as reported yesterday has seen all three coalition cabinet member throw up on. In other words, Greece has about 24 hours to do the impossible, unless of course it simply delays and does nothing once again. Alas, the real issue is that unlike before, there is a hard deadline of a bond maturity cash outflow on March 20, and absent resolution, which especially on the PSI issue should come far in advance as an exchange offer takes at least 6 weeks to finalize, there will be no deal. So while this weekend may come and go, without anything being resolved, the days can kicking, as Zero Hedge said back in January, are ending.

Reuters' take:

Greece has agreed with euro zone partners on how to recapitalise Greek banks after a planned bond swap, but has yet to resolve issues related to labour reform and spending cuts in talks with lenders, the country's finance minister said on Saturday.


Evangelos Venizelos described a conference call on Saturday with counterparts from fellow euro zone nations as "very difficult" and said talks related to Greece's rescue plan must be concluded by Sunday night.


"The Eurogroup teleconference was very difficult," Venizelos told reporters.


"There is great impatience and great pressure not only from the three institutions that make up the troika but also from euro zone member states, each of whom have their own criteria, their own problems, their own priorities." (

Some more from Kathimerini:

Greece’s official creditors remain will not give in on their demand for changes and wage cuts to the labor status in the private sector, Skai radio said on Saturday afternoon citing an unnamed government official, as talks about the new loan contract continue in Athens.


It followed a broad meeting of ministers who hold key posts in the government, under Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos after his lengthy talks with the mission from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, known collectively as the troika.


The ministerial meeting heard that there will be no further staff cuts in the health sector, but there will be cuts in expenditure amounting to 1.1 billion euros, out of which 1 billion will concern pharmaceutical spending.


The defense sector is set for cuts amounting to 400 million euros in the next two years.

Finally, this is a translation of Venizelos last ditch attempt to pretend he still has some control left:

After completion of the telephone conference Eurogroup and departing on his meeting with Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, made ??the following statement:


The teleconference of Eurogroup was very difficult. There is great anxiety and pressure of three institutions that make up the troika, but also by Member States of the Eurozone, each of which has its own criteria, its own problems, its own priorities.


The distance that separates the successful completion of the procedures by which an impasse may be a coincidence, or due to a misunderstanding, is too small. The line is too thin. We are on the razor's edge. We hold, focusing here the Ministry of Finance, a very tough and delicate negotiations.


Already, we have accomplished many things, we basically agree on issues such as how recapitalization and reorganization of the Greek banking system, privatization, many institutional reforms and structural changes, leading to a characteristic example of the need to finally be in our country a effective monitoring mechanism and pressure on prices, especially prices that make up the basket of the poor and middle households.


Open are two major issues related to each other: industrial relations, and thus their earnings in the private sector and financial measures to be taken to be absolutely objective in 2012, given that we have recorded a good result, in almost Our predictions as to the 2011 budget target. Here, we have managed to reduce the too-trading. But there are still unresolved issues and need to finalize the shape.


Now I go at the Maximos Mansion in order to inform the Prime Minister detail to the point where we are for what was the Eurogroup and the spirit and atmosphere of the discussions with institutional partners and Member States of the Eurozone. It is very likely to take place later meeting with the Prime Minister heads the troika, because now we are at those points on which they must decide and commit political forces and thus the leaders of three parties involved in government and support it.


It's time commitments. It should not just be engagement, but to place all the prerequisite steps that we can stick to the schedule, make a public offer for the PSI and get valuable money the first major installment of the new program, not only for PSI not only to support banks, but also to breathe in terms of market liquidity.


The time is very critical. We all have to be completed by tomorrow evening. We have closed all the issues have been undertaken commitments, have initiated procedures so that we can be on time, given the maturity of bonds in March.


04.02.2012. ?????? ??. ????????? ???? ??? ???????????? ??? Eurogroup from Evangelos Venizelos on Vimeo.

Good luck:

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Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Kickin' the can, kickin' the can!

[Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!]

Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

I had almost the same thought right now. +10 :)


Edit: somehow I cannot vote up - is there some ban on certain users?

Poetic injustice's picture

Law we broke right away, unconstitutional took a little bit longer.

Motto of government institutions from time of first government.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

He was logged in to post, Hawking.

Reese Bobby's picture

Good stuff.  I may be fallible?

francis_sawyer's picture

Thanks for the laugh... (if you 'missed' it somehow ~ I'll review)

- LH starts with "kicking the can"

- guy with 'CAN' avatar (of Ravioli), responds, then says something about a technical problem

- next guy berates him (essentially KICKING THE CAN)

- which, in the end... FAILS


Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

Greek newspaper reports the PSI is "a deal now" - including CAC retroactivly!! Law shall pass Parliament by Feb, 9th.

GovtMediaLiars's picture

Just happens sometimes.
Seemingly random posts just occasionally can't be rated for some reason.


Poetic injustice's picture

You can't rate when first character is italicized.

XitSam's picture

Just happens sometimes.
Seemingly random posts just occasionally can't be rated for some reason.

Start the post with a blockquote I believe. May get 1 up and 1 down but no more.

tazmatic's picture

Sounds like a Bee Gee song, G Bee Stayin alive stayin alive, something like that.

Eireann go Brach's picture

Any chance of getting Anonymous to hack these Toika conference calls to Greece? I can hear Sarkozy recommending the hollowing austerity "How about you fucking Greeks survive on 1 meal a day, babies should be fine"

Dingleberry's picture

Yawn....Giants 24, Pats 17

francis_sawyer's picture

Pats 30 - Giants 26

Other fun facts:

  • The team that is the better seed in the Super Bowl is 1-11-2 ATS since 1996.
  • Bill Belichick is 11-2 ATS against a team after losing to them the same year.
  • Patriots are 27-15 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 135-43 as a starter (104-70 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 16-5 in the playoffs (9-12 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 9-3 ATS in domes.
  • The NFC has won 14 consecutive coin flips... The odds on that happening are .006

    slewie the pi-rat's picture

    Giants 4 - Pats  1

    and i'm thinking of taking the under

    Reese Bobby's picture

    Vegas is long Pats.  Fortunately, of course, the World is a very honest place.

    francis_sawyer's picture

    Prop Bets:

    Will the Team that Scores First Win the Game - No +140 (

    In the previous 10 Super Bowls, six teams that scored first ended up losing the game... Because of this, +140 is a pretty decent bargain...

    New England wins by 1-6 points +340; New York wins by 1-6 points +365 (5Dimes):

    There's a good chance that one of these two will be right... Most of the recent Super Bowls have been close...

    Will There Be a Scoreless Quarter - No -260 (

    In the previous seven Super Bowls, there has only been one scoreless quarter...

    Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

    the ISDA _wont_ declare default.

    GeneMarchbanks's picture

    Trivial. The fruitless game of sovereign CDS will have sudden unintended consequences.

    Genzero's picture

    Any minute now, any minute now, wait for it, we mean it this time, really.

    Hat tip to Grumpy Old Men...'you can crap in one hand and wish in the other. See which one fills up first.'

    Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

    My father used to tell me that when I was young. I would say wish and somehow it remained just that.

    Cursive's picture

    So while this weekend may come and go, without anything being resolved, the days can kicking, as Zero Hedge said back in January, are ending.


    This Greece saga has lasted much longer than most Hollywood marriages.

    IndicaTive's picture

    ....and no pre-nup. Shame.

    Lilguy's picture

    Deadlines, schmeadlines! 

    The dance will continue until Europe falls off the cliff in March

    CrashisOptimistic's picture

    There is no contituency for austerity.


    Particularly in a democracy.  When politicians want to keep their jobs in such a situation, they will put forth a referendum.  This caused an EU uproar last time it was tried and it was withdrawn.

    If the Greeks agree to these firings and these paycuts, there will be upheaval.  If they do not agree, they will still be fired and pay will be cut, using drachmas.

    There is no fix.


    redpill's picture

    Iceland has provided the blueprint. It's up to the people of Greece to take whatever steps are requires to recapture control of their government and follow that blueprint. But they will need to clean house, the self-interested technocrats won't go quietly and the rest of Europe will scream bloody murder as their own banker barrons have them convinced that true default would be nothing short of armageddon.

    CrashisOptimistic's picture

    I believe even Iceland is being forced to repay the debt.

    There are no international bankruptcy courts that can expunge sovereign debt.  It's forever.

    The only fix would be to conquer Greece and enslave them, imposing the necessary austerity so that their GDP can be extracted to pay the debts.  Sort of like what's happening, absent the oil burn required of a war.

    oogs66's picture

    Iceland never defaulted. Their banks did! They had the courage to let banks fail and let citizens move on

    kito's picture

    Thanks oogs--the comparison to Greece is nauseating already.....

    _ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

    That was simply brilliant! It is the best (only) real solution.

    algol_dog's picture

    I have an idea ...

    Lets make a huge wooden horse and at the border of Greece, purpose it as a symbol & gift of the forgiveness of all Greek debts, and a resumption of the 'Greek way' of life. Only, little will they know that the horse will be filled with Merkel's German soldiers, ready to do her bidding and enslave the population through menial and low paying work.


    IndicaTive's picture

    No need to make one, they can just borrow Obama's, the BLS is done with it for the month.

    redpill's picture

    Obviously this is all S&P's fault.

    Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

    mentally added "</sarc>" ;->

    Reese Bobby's picture

    Greece doesn't matter.  Just more theater.  Italy and Spain are a different story.  IMO.

    Poetic injustice's picture

    No, next in line is Portugal. Their only salvation is that they are small and poor already, so they may survive.

    Then comes Spain, kicking and screaming.

    Reese Bobby's picture

    Portugal isn't big enough to sink the ship either.  And when I say, "doesn't matter" I don't mean the fine people of either Country.