Germany Refuses Greek Demands For Public Sector Debt Cuts As It Is "Shouldering Everything Anyway"
Yesterday, Greek finmin Venizelos did his best to exude confidence when he, of all people, decided to give the ECB, and thus Germany, a virtual ultimatum demanding that public sector creditors are also impaired (supposedly only some, while excluding Greek pension companies). Kathimerini has more on this in "Never mind PSI, OSI is all the rage." And the only reason why Veni needs this critical step is because the hedge fund holdouts among the PSI creditors demand it. Alas, Germany does not deal well with ultimatums, especially from fiscal vassals. As OpenEurope notes, Die Welt reports that Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has called for Greece’s official creditors, such as the ECB and national central banks, to take part in the restructuring of Greek debt, something German Economy Minister Philip Rösler insisted was “not currently on the agenda”. It gets better. According to Goldman, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that "no additional contributions from the public sector are necessary.” German finance minister against public sector participation in Greek debt restructuring. Speaking to news channel n-tv finance minister Schäuble said that "Greece needs a reduction in private sector claims of 50% … It does not need an additional contribution from the public sector because we're shouldering everything anyway". When asked whether he thinks that the composition of the Euro area would be the same at the end of the year as today, Schäuble replied: "I hope so". So there you have it: Greece needs further concessions, which Germany will give, if and only if Greece concedes to previous German demands of abdicating fiscal independence. The only question is how badly Greece needs German help. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
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