For a couple of hours on Tuesday, it appeared as though Greece had managed to sneak a debt deal proposal by the troika that, while hitting some of the mandated fiscal targets, did not include the pension cuts and VAT concessions that had previously constituted creditors’ “red lines.”
Then, on Tuesday evening, the IMF apparently decided to read the terms of the “deal” and Christine Lagarde did not like what she saw.
A few hours later, we were back to square one and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras was calling the IMF’s stance “weird” although in reality, the Fund was simply reiterating what it’s been saying since May, when Lagarde lost patience with the situation following Athens’ move to make a €750 million payment out of its SDR reserves.
Following meetings with EU officials and then with Lagarde and ECB chief Mario Draghi on Wednesday evening, Tsipras is back at it on Thursday, in a frantic attempt to win over EU finance chiefs (who are collectively losing their will to keep Greece in the currency bloc) and the IMF as the EU summit kicks off in Brussels. Here’s Bloomberg summing up:
As the pressure grew, Tsipras met with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after concluding hours of discussions Wednesday that yielded no breakthrough. Euro-area finance chiefs are also in Brussels trying to find a way to broker an agreement that will satisfy all sides ahead of a two-day summit of European Union leaders that begins later Thursday.
The contradictory headlines are coming fast and furious Thursday morning as confusion reigns.
- GREEK OFFICIAL SAYS GOVT SUBMITTED PROPOSALS TO INSTITUTIONS
- GREECE DOCUMENTS CAN BE BASIS FOR A DEAL: EU OFFICIAL
- INSTITUTIONS UNANIMOUSLY AGREED ON GREECE PAPERS: EU OFFICIAL
- GREEK GOVT REMAINED FIRM IN ITS POSITIONS, OFFICIAL SAYS
- INSTITUTION DOCUMENTS NOT ACCEPTED BY GREEKS: EU OFFICIAL
It now appears the Greeks have missed a deadline to present a counter proposal ahead of the finance ministers’ meeting, meaning the troika’s proposal will be discussed instead, even though the Greeks rejected that proposal yesterday.
- GREECE, CREDITORS FAIL TO REACH AGREEMENT AHEAD OF EUROGROUP