Greece must immediately start adopting some of the economic reforms demanded by its creditors if it is to receive much-needed access to emergency funds in the face of a mounting March cash crunch, the eurozone’s chief negotiator has warned.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who leads the Greek talks as chairman of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, told the Financial Times that he was prepared to make a “first disbursement” of the €7.2bn remaining in Athens’ €172bn bailout as early as this month.
But the funds would only be transferred if the new Greek government, which for weeks has resisted implementing measures contained in the existing bailout after campaigning to kill the programme, adopted reforms the two sides could quickly agree on.
“My message to the Greeks is: try to start the programme even before the whole renegotiation is finished,” Mr Dijsselbloem said. “There are elements that you can start doing today. If you do that, then somewhere in March, maybe there can be a first disbursement. But that would require progress and not just intentions.” >> Read More
26 February 2015 - 21:31 pm
Greek savers withdrew 12.2 billion (£8.9 billion) from their accounts in January amid fears over a standoff between Athens and its European partners, according to new central bank data.
The outflows underline the pressure that the Greek authorities have been under to reach a deal before the funding problem for its banks became too acute.
At the start of February the ECB withdrew a waiver that allowed Greek banks to access loans from the central bank using government bonds and government-guaranteed assets as collateral, forcing the institutions to rely on Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) provided by the Bank of Greece. However, the amount that the Bank of Greece could provide is capped and subject to review every two weeks.
And this is what happened – ELA lending has spiked:
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25 February 2015 - 19:22 pm
After the new Greek government fought valiantly a la David vs Goliath for several weeks, only to cave in the last minute and admit that the best it can do is continue the much hated policies of the predecessor Samaras government by extending the Greek bailout program, it now has a bigger problem: assuring its European “partners” that, having flipflopped, it is as trustworthy as the Samaras government. And none other than the German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble made that point early on Wednesday when in a radio interview with SWR2 radio, he said that it had not been an easy decision for euro zone finance ministers to extend the Greek rescue plan by four months and “much doubt remained about how credible Athens’ latest reform commitments really were.”
Reuters quotes Schauble who said that: “It wasn’t easy an easy decision for us but neither was it easy for the Greek government because (they) had told the people something completely different in the campaign and afterwards.”
“The question now is whether one can believe the Greek government’s assurances or not. There’s a lot of doubt in Germany, that has to be understood,” said Schaeuble who despite his misgivings, he has urged German lawmakers to approve the Greek extension in a vote in parliament expected on Friday. >> Read More
24 February 2015 - 19:57 pm
Just over a week ago, Yanis Varoufakis would have crushed and mangled anyone who would dare suggest that Greece would extend its current bailout program, because, the myth went, the new Syriza government had a mandate to end the Troika (since renamed to “Institutions”) and to crush the Memorandum (aka “existing bailout programme”). Since then much has changed, and confirming that the new government is really the old government, Europe can now rejoice, because as Bloomberg blasted moments ago:
- GREEK BAILOUT EXTENSION SAID TO BE APPROVED BY EURO AREA
Which means that as the “valiant” in words, if not deeds, new Greek government rolls over, the DAX is about to jump to new all time highs making rich Germans even richer. As for Greeks, not so much.
23 February 2015 - 19:01 pm
In line with Friday’s agreement, Athens have prepared Sunday a package of reform measures in order to secure a yet another tranche of the Troika bailout. However, the Greek planning, to be discussed Monday, might not fully satisfy the Germans, who have been increasingly jumpy to kick Greece out of the Eurozone. As the German parliament has the final say on whether or not Greece will remain in the euro area, the re-introduction of the drachma might be not such a distant perspective.
Skepticism in regard of the Friday’s compromise deal is rife in both Germany and Greece prior to the discussion of the structural reform, devised by the Greeks over the weekend. The leftie government of Alexis Tsipras, who earlier promised to end the austerity, imposed by international creditors, is harshly criticized within the nation for misleading the electorate by not sticking to their earlier promises. It seems like Greece is still intending to carry on with austerity and reform in order to stay in the Eurozone.
However, the Germans are not confident they want the poorly predictable nation of Greece in the common currency area. The Greek bailout has already cost over 100 bln euros without any positive developments, and any Greece’s proposals will be met with suspicion. >> Read More
21 February 2015 - 8:14 am
Why 4 and not 6 months? Simple: so that the humiliation of the Syriza government can continue with yet another bailout, aka “current programme”, aka Memorandum extension request just ahead of the biggest debt maturity for the remainder of 2015.
19 February 2015 - 17:07 pm
- Request does not refer to Troika, only institutions
- Greece commits only to financial obligations to creditors
- Asks ECB if they can have collateral waiver reinstated if a deal is struck
- Denies requesting for extension of bailout
It’s like Chinese whispers (or water torture) at the moment
19 February 2015 - 16:21 pm
The chairman of the committee of 19 eurozone finance ministers announced Thursday that he was convening an emergency meeting to consider Greece’s extension of its €172bn bailout, in the clearest sign yet that the two sides are narrowing their differences and may be close to a deal.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the eurogroup and the Dutch finance minister, said he had received a request for a six-month extension on Thursday morning and would convene the finance ministers at 3pm on Friday
Eurozone officials had said Mr Dijsselbloem would only agree to hold another emergency eurogroup – the third in a week – if the Greek request had changed enough from previous proposals to warrant a full ministerial meeting, and his decision to hold the session is a signal that Athens has changed is negotiating position. >> Read More
16 February 2015 - 22:30 pm
- In these circumstances there cannot be a deal today
Reuters reporting the first comments coming out of the Eurogroup meeting
EUR/USD drops just over 25 pips to 1.1363
It looks like the main theme was discussion surrounding extending the bailout program, which is not to be confused with just a bridging extension while they discuss the bailout program
11 February 2015 - 20:02 pm
Greek FM to meet with leaders of the Eurogroup and discuss options for filling their financing gap
Greece expected to propose a bridge loan and reject an extension of their current bailout. Leaders to arrive from 1530GMT
- 1530GMT – All arrivals & doorsteps
- 1730GMT – Roundtable
- 1900GMT – Press Conference
- End of Feb 2015 – Greece’s EUR 172bln bailout is due to conclude
- March – EUR 1.4bln payment is due from Greece to the IMF
- 14th July 2015 – EUR 11.5bln Greek bond redemption due
Overnight Greek PM Tsipras said that Greece is to negotiate a loan agreement and not a bailout adding they will not ask for an extension to the bailout or further austerity measures, no matter how much Germany asks.
OPTIONS >> Read More