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:
OK (1/4) - the document I was leaked was not the *final* Moscovici draft. I now have that also. The one I published was datelined 18:20 ...— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) February 16, 2015
(2/4) The right one is headlined “Close of business”. It has a significant different text including “humanitarian crisis” and is stronger ..— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) February 16, 2015
So this “close of play draft” pic.twitter.com/szjyFcPoW4 is even stronger pro-the Greek position than my earlier one.— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) February 16, 2015
For transparency: i was sent 18:40 version by trusted source to show it existed, but this one superseded it: pic.twitter.com/szjyFcPoW4— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) February 16, 2015