UPDATE: "CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS" are over:
- *GREECE'S VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL NOT ASK FOR BAILOUT EXTENSION
- *VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL NOT ACCEPT SELF-PERPETUATING CRISIS
- *VAROUFAKIS SAYS DISCUSSED EURO AREA, NEW DEAL FOR GREECE
- *DIJSSELBLOEM SAYS UNILATERAL STEPS IS NOT THE WAY FORWARD
- *DIJSSELBLOEM SAYS GREECE SHOULD CLARIFY ITS POSITION (we think they did!)
- *GREECE'S VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL CONVINCE EU PEERS ON NEW DEAL
As Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (of "template" foot in mouth infamy) heads to Athens for talks today, Bloomberg reports the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has a clear message for his European overlords of the past: “We don’t want the 7 billion euros...We want to sit down and rethink the whole program." While this exposes the nation's banking system to further runs, yesterday's revelation that Russia could step in with financing should they need it, leaves Dijsselbloem and Shulz with less and less leverage even as Spain's chief economic advisor warns, if Greece doesn't play along, "there will be problems on all fronts."
“Will Greece antagonize the European union? If they don’t there won’t be any problems,” Alvaro Nadal, chief economic adviser to the Spanish prime minister, said in a radio interview in Madrid on Friday. “If they do, there will be, on all fronts.”
And, as Bloomberg reports, that is what Greece's new government is doing (as they promised the people),
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he’s not interested in persuading Greece’s official creditors to release the final 7 billion euros ($8 billion) of bailout funds as Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem headed to Athens for talks on Friday.
Greece wants to agree a new plan shifting from spending cuts to combating corruption and boosting public investment. The proposal hinges on the euro area and the European Central Bank agreeing to write down Greece’s public debt, a suggestion that has been met with skepticism by officials across the rest of Europe.
“We don’t want the 7 billion euros,” Varoufakis said in an interview with the New York Times published late on Thursday. “We want to sit down and rethink the whole program.”
“In all honesty, if you sum up all their promises then the Greek budget will very quickly be out of balance and then further debt relief won’t help anyway,” Dijsselbloem said in Amsterdam on the eve of his trip. “We want to keep Greece in the euro zone, in the European Union, but that also requires the Greeks to meet their commitments.”
Things are not going well...
European Parliament Martin Schulz confirmed the divide between Tsipras and the rest of Europe after two hours of talks with the Greek leader in Athens on Thursday.
“In diplomatic parlance, they say that talks were constructive and honest when they have ended in disagreement,” Schulz said. “Well, I will say that talks were honest and constructive.”
* * *
However, it appears things just got a little more tense...
- GREEK GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAYS THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT THE TROIKA TO GO BACK TO GREECE OR TO INCREASE THE DEBT PROGRAM: RTRS