- Greece Misses 1st Commitment: Delays Reform List Delivery Until Tuesday (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):
Well that didn’t take long…
- *GREECE TO SUBMIT LIST OF REFORM COMMITMENTS TO EU TOMORROW: OFFICIAL
So we are less than 3 days into the ‘new deal’ and Greece has missed its first deadline. We can’t help but wonder if the initial draft, just as we warned, was thrown up all over by the Germans.
Gov official says Greek list of reform proposals to be sent early Tue (or late Mon). Being discussed w creditors;drafts have been exchanged.
— NikiKitsantonis (@NikiKitsantonis) February 23, 2015
As George Saravelos, strategist at Deutsche Bank notes: Continue reading »
- 50 Shades of Greece (The Automatic Earth, Feb 22, 2015):
When it comes to the ongoing Greek question, I see a lot of people eagerly jump to conclusions, after the ‘debt deal’, that I don’t think are justified; certainly not yet. The overall conviction in the press seems to be that Syriza has given in on just about all fronts, and Germany and Dijsselbloem are the big winners.
But since that may well be the exact position Syriza wants ‘the other side’ to be in, where they think they have prevailed, one will have to try and think a few steps ahead before judging the situation. There’s far more grey area here than many pundits seem to assume, easily 50 shades of it. Continue reading »
- This European Nation’s Poverty Rate Just Hit A Record High (Spoiler Alert: Not Greece) (ZeroHedge, Feb 22, 2015):
For the last few years – and most especially the last few months – all eyes have been focused on Greece. From record poverty rates to record suicide rates and levels of youth unemployment, post-election emboldened hopes for a phoenix-like rebirth of a nation from the flames of Eurogroup repression were seemingly dashed on Friday. However there is another nation, that begins with the letter ‘G’ and that is at the heart of the EU-Greece talks that is suffering seemingly silently. As Newsweek reports, poverty in Germany is at its highest since the reunification of the country in 1990, with 12.5 million residents now classified as ‘poor’… Continue reading »
- The Assassination of Greece (Veterans News Now, Feb 21, 2015):
by Dr. James Petras
The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union.What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union. If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule. If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse. Continue reading »
- How Greece Folded To Germany: The Complete Breakdown (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
Having, as we previously explained, been given ‘just enough rope’ by the Germans, we thought it worth looking at just what Greece capitulated on (or perhaps a shorter version – what they did not capitulate on) and how Tsipras and Varoufakis will sell this to their fellow politicians… and most of all people.
What points has Greece capitulated on?
1. Completion of the current review – Greece has basically agreed to conclude the current bailout. Any funding is conditional on such a process:
Only approval of the conclusion of the review of the extended arrangement by the institutions in turn will allow for any disbursement of the outstanding tranche of the current EFSF programme and the transfer of the 2014 SMP profits. Both are again subject to approval by the Eurogroup.
This is a clear capitulation for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said the previous bailout was “dead” and the EU/IMF/ECB Troika is “over”. Continue reading »
- Beppe Grillo: “The Eurozone Chess Game Enters Its Final Stage: Germany Wins In Three Moves” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
With everyone’s attention focused these days on Greece’s Tsipras (and Varoufakis), and also casting concerned glances at Spain’s Pablo Iglesias, head of the poll-leading Podemos party which may well be the next Syriza, many have forgotten that Italy has its own “anti-austerity” voice, that of Beppe Grillo, a voice which had been relatively quiet in the recent past. However, judging by his latest blog post, he too will want to be heard in the seaschange in Europe in the aftermath of the Syriza surge and the resultant chaos that has shaken the Eurozone to its core.
From Beppe Grillo’s blog
The Euro’s up in smoke
The Eurozone chess game has entered its third and final stage. Germany wins in three moves – Euro, deflation and purchase of public debt by the ECB (QE) – and in the last few years it has found a way to maximise its profits and reduce to zero its risks as Europe’s creditor.
- Germany Gives Greece Just Enough Rope: Varoufakis Says If Troika Rejects Reforms “The Deal Is Dead And Buried” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
As usual, the fine print of any European “deal” is revealed not only after the agreement, but after the US market close. So for all those waiting for the real punchline, here it is – it also is the reason why Greece got until Monday to reveal the list of “reforms” it would undertake:
“We’re in trouble next week if creditors don’t accept Greece’s reforms“, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says. “If our list of reforms is not backed by the institutions, this agreement is dead and buried.”
That’s bad. But… “But it’s not going to be knocked down by the institutions.”
For his sake, let’s hopes he is correct in predicting what the Troika, pardon, Institutions will do. Because this is precisely what Schauble meant when he said that the “Greeks Certainly Will Have A Difficult Time To Explain The Deal To Their Voters“: under the conditionality of the Troika’s approval, the Tsipras government now has to walk back essentially all the promises it made to the Greek people – promises which by some accounts amount to over €20 billion in additional spending – or the Troika, pardon Institutions, will yank the entire deal and the Grexit can then commence.
And that’s the bottom line.
It’s also the reason Schauble was gloating: because he gave the Greek government just enough rope with which to hang itself. Continue reading »
- Shots Fired: Schauble Says “Greeks Certainly Will Have A Difficult Time To Explain The Deal To Their Voters” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
Did anyone honestly not think the German finance minister would not have the final word?
GERMAN FINMIN SCHAEUBLE SAYS AS LONG AS THE PROGRAMME FOR GREECE ISN’T SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED THERE WILL BE NO PAYOUT
GERMAN FINMIN SCHAEUBLE SAYS ‘THE GREEKS CERTAINLY WILL HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME TO EXPLAIN THE DEAL TO THEIR VOTERS’
- The 330 Billion Reasons Why The Grexit “Can” Was Kicked Down The Road (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
Perhaps this explained why Greece and The Eurogroup have (reportedly) come to an agreement to avoid an actual Grexit for 4 months. As Die Welt explains that Euro-area nations will face losses of up to EUR330bn as Greek outright government debt, ECB capital needs, and TARGET2 liabilities have soared in the last 2 years since the crisis last erupted…
- Full Eurogroup Statement On Greece – Redline Comparison With Previously Rejected Statement (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
Just out from the Eurogroup, the final statement. Bottom line: Greece caves on pretty much everything, however it has two semantics successes: the dreaded “Troika” words has been replaced with “institutions” and “current programme” has been changed to “current arrangement” – surely nobody will notice. Sarcasm aside, Greece has just kicked the can for four months. Why four months? Because that’s just ahead of the big Greek debt maturity.
Eurogroup statement on Greece
The Eurogroup reiterates its appreciation for the remarkable adjustment efforts undertaken by Greece and the Greek people over the last years. During the last few weeks, we have, together with the institutions, engaged in an intensive and constructive dialogue with the new Greek authorities and reached common ground today.
The Eurogroup notes, in the framework of the existing arrangement, the request from the Greek authorities for an extension of the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFFA), which is underpinned by a set of commitments. The purpose of the extension is the successful completion of the review on the basis of the conditions in the current arrangement, making best use of the given flexibility which will be considered jointly with the Greek authorities and the institutions. This extension would also bridge the time for discussions on a possible follow-up arrangement between the Eurogroup, the institutions and Greece. Continue reading »
From Germany’s Spiegel:
Google translation (Original article in German down below):
- Debt dispute: ECB prepares for Greek euro exit (Spiegel, Feb 20, 2015):
Still negotiating Athens and the Euro-partners about new grants. Behind the scenes alternatives are already being played: The ECB is preparing by SPIEGEL information on the Greek exit from the euro before.
Frankfurt – The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a Greek exit from the monetary union. To that effect, Employees by information obtained by SPIEGEL, an internal simulation games by how the rest of the euro zone could be held together.
Despite all the denials to urge the European monetary authorities the Greeks to finally introduce capital controls. According to the findings of the ECB, the Greeks have a day more than one billion euros abroad. Continue reading »
- Germany Slams Greek Bailout Extension Proposal As “Trojan Horse” – Full Text (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):
As leaked by Reuters moments ago, here is the text of a document that describes Germany’s position on Greece’s letter requesting an extension of its bailout facility as nothing short of a Trojan Horse.
Euro zone officials said the paper was prepared for a meeting of the Euro Working Group in Brussels, a gathering of officials preparing a meeting of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers to be held in Brussels on Friday: Continue reading »
- Greece Gives Europe A Counter-Ultimatum: Accept Or Reject Our Offer (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):
UPDATE: *GREEK GOVT WON’T ACCEPT ULTIMATUMS, WON’T GIVE ANY: OFFICIAL
After days of repeated ultimata from The Eurogroup, as Germany (bad cop) and the rest (good cop) make optimistic sounds, this morning’s rejection of Greece’s latest plan (following Greek comparisons of Germany to Nazi surrender demands) has prompted something new:
- *EU HAS 2 CHOICES, APPROVE OR REJECT GREEK REQUEST: OFFICIAL
- *EUROGROUP MEETING TO SHOW WHO WANTS A SOLUTION: GREEK OFFICIAL
Markets are stumbling on this news as Germany and the rest come to terms with not just the billions in debt on ECB and various bank balance sheets but the 49 billion other reasons to avoid Grexit that have mounted in TARGET2 liabilities.
* * *
As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »
- Rejected: Germany Throws Up Over Greek Extension Proposal (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):
Update - it gets better:
- GABRIEL: `WE HAVE REASONS WHY CAN’T SAY YES TO GREEK PROPOSALS’
- GABRIEL: `WE CAN’T SHUT DOOR NOW ON TALKS WITH GREEKS’
Moments after we reported that stocks were delighted to price in yet another Greek resolution (even if they would be loath to reprice the reality), both Bloomberg and Reuters poured cold water over the HFT servers in Mahwah with the following headlines:
- GERMANY REJECTS GREEK EXTENSION PROPOSAL, GOVT OFFICIAL SAYS
- GREEK LETTER DOESN’T OFFER SUBSTANTIVE SOLUTION, GERMANY SAYS
- GREEK LETTER NOT IN LINE WITH AGREED EUROGROUP CRITERIA: JAEGER
- GREEK PLAN SEEKS BRIDGE FUNDING W/O FULFILLING PROGRAM: JAEGER
- Greek Government Blasts Germany’s Arrogance: “It’s Like Being Asked To Surrender Back In The 1940s” (ZeroHedge, Feb 18, 2015):
Germany’s government has been “overtaken by arrogance” in its approach to debt negotiations, a Greek government source reportedly told Sky News. The senior Syriza politician likened Germany’s current tactics to those of the Nazis, exclaiming “It’s like being back in the 1940s, being asked to surrender.” We are sure that will make negotiations run a lot smoother (but comes on the heels of various jibes at The Greeks by Wolfgang Schaeuble). Continue reading »
- Schauble Gives Athens Another 10-Day Ultimatum, Says “Up To Greek Government If It Wants To Keep Euro” (ZeroHedge, Feb 17, 2015):
Those who thought yesterday’s trial balloon headline barrage would be bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It all started with Spain’s economy minister who knows if the Greek revolt gains traction his career will be cut short by a Podemos surge, said:
- THERE IS NO ULTIMATUM FOR GREECE
- No deal: Greece-EU bailout talks break down, Athens given 1 week ultimatum (RT, Feb 16, 2015):
The eurozone has given Greece an ultimatum of one week to request an extension of its bailout deal, as Athens turned down the offer dubbing it “absurd” and “unreasonable”. Greece’s finance minister said they were ready to sign – but something different.
But despite not reaching a deal, Greece Finance Minister Varoufakis insisted Athens is “ready and willing” to reach a deal and that he is confident of reaching one in 2 days, he said in statement after the talks.
“We were offering to refrain effectively from implementing our own program for a period of six months and all we were getting back was a nebulous promise of some flexibility that was never specified,” Varoufakis said.
- German Lawmaker Demands All Payments To Greece Be “Immediately Stopped” (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2015):
Following the reported withdrawal of what Greece deemed as an acceptable draft document to move forward – replaced by an “absurd, unacceptable” draft by EU President Dijsselbloem – it appears the Germans are none too happy. A senior lawmaker from Angela Merkel’s Christian Union bloc has demanded that following this ‘rejection’ of the Eurogroup’s plan, all payments to Greece should be immediately stopped.
As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »
- Greece matters: Anti-Euro AfD polling 5.2% in #Hamburg state election, acc to ARD. Merkel’s CDU plunges to 16%, Free Democrats 7%. SPD 47%. (InvestmentWatch, Feb 15, 2015):
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) February 15, 2015
Anti-Euro #AfD looked set to win seats in its 1st western regional assembly in Hamburg state election while Merkel’s CDU suffered big losses
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) February 15, 2015
- Greek Gambit Succeeds As Germany Said To Ease Bailout Terms (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2015):
With tax receipts tumbling and ELA funding hitting its limit, the Greeks are up against it. On the other side, the Greek strength in the face of EU’s demands (and Eurogroup’s realization of the uncertainty this could lead to) has apparently led to the start of compromise. As Bloomberg reports,
- *GERMAN, GREEK OFFICIALS SIGNAL COMMON GROUND ON AID DEAL
- *GERMANY SAID NOT TO INSIST ALL PARTS OF CURRENT BAILOUT STAY
- *GREECE SAID TO BE OPEN TO SURPLUS, PRIVATIZATION DEBATE
As Merkel noted earlier, “Europe is always about finding a compromise,” and it appears they are getting closer – as long as a ‘program’ continues. Bundesbank’s Weidmann has noted that Grexit would not solve either side’s longer-term problems.