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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Greece: IMF Announcement; ECB Lifts Ceiling; Greek Coffers and Negotiations; Default Within the Eurozone Plan? Expert Group Task Force; Varoufakis in DC


Updates and earlier links

George Osborne on Greece, The Guardian

Same story, Kathimerini - The Greek financial crisis has helped make the mood at international financial talks in Washington this week “notably more gloomy,” British finance minister George Osborne said on Friday.

The Times (April 17): There is no Plan B for Greece. warns commissioner - "Talks have hit a low point in the past two weeks, with officials privately accusing Athens of having an unjustifiable sense of entitlement".

Reuters report - 'Dijsselbloem said...it was unclear at which point exactly Greece would really run out of money and be unable to pay back the roughly 1 billion euros of IMF loans maturing in May.
"We have been worried about previous payments they were to make and yet they managed it, so I don't know when it becomes really dangerous. But I think it is in our joint interest to stay away from that point," he said'.

Observing Greece: USA to Greece, some fairly blunt recommendations?

Mignatiou, Lews

Two tweets (there are more) from Simon Nixon, on the Greek Finance Minister in Washington DC:

Varoufakis: "you asked about policies but I didn't have time to go into them" - after an hour of windy waffle!

Clear from questions that even "sympathetic" DC audience frustrated by Varoufakis lack of specificity. Think he's lost this crowd.

  Simon Nixon @Simon_Nixon

Kathimerini: Jack Lew to Varoufakis - Λου προς Βαρουφάκη: Άσε τις ομιλίες και πιάσε τον προϋπολογισμό - (Drop the speeches and get a grip on the budget)

Telegraph - "Yanis Varoufakis urges Obama to squeeze Europe over debt stalemate- President Obama reported to have told the finance minister both sides need to show flexibility to solve bail-out drama"

Deutsche Welle -  "Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has rejected both an exit from the eurozone and an agreement on its debt with unreachable economic targets. Meanwhile, the IMF refused a delay in Greek debt repayments".

Lafazanis (Mignatiou report)  'There is no possibility of further compromises by the Greek side," he said on the state of negotiations with creditors during a meeting with a party delegation of the German Greens, as covered by the Athens Agency. "Our government is not going to sell out the country and the public wealth, or to take other unpopular measures," he said' (translation)

May 11th decisive date EU Observer

Scraping the bottom of the barrel? Reuters - "Eurozone officials complained that Greek representatives were still not being detailed enough about the state of the country’s finances".

Mignatiou

Will Yanis Varoufakis have a meeting with President Obama? Mignatiou

City A.M. - "Varoufakis will meet Obama tomorrow. It will be followed by meetings with European Central Bank head Mario Draghi on Friday, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Italy’s finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan and IMF officials. But perhaps more significantly, City A.M. understands that he will on Friday meet with infamous sovereign debt lawyer Lee Buchheit, who has helped numerous countries restructure their debt. Buchheit is a partner at top US law firm Cleary Gottlieb".

PM Tsipras' Statement to Reuters  "I am convinced that Europe of democratic traditions and the Enlightenment will not give in to the extreme voices of some, will not choose the path of an unethical and brutal financial blackmail, but the path of bridging differences, the path of stability and mutual respect, and above all the path to democracy, for the benefit of our common European future.”

Athens holds firm, Kathimerini

BBC - "Unsustainable commitments"

Telegraph: Pension funds

Zeit Online "The federal government is working on a plan that would allow it to keep Greece in the case of a sovereign default in the euro". 

"No such plans", Proto Thema - «Είναι στο χέρι της Ελλάδας»  - Κληθείς να σχολίασει το δημοσίευμα της Die Zeit σύμφωνα με το οποίο η γερμανική κυβέρνηση εξετάζει το σενάριο χρεοκοπίας της Ελλάδας μέσα στη ζώνη του ευρώ ο Σόιμπλε απάντησε ότι «δεν έχουμε τέτοια σχέδια και ακόμα και αν τα εξετάζαμε - γιατί τα στελέχη των υπουργείων λαμβάνουν υπόψη τους όλα τα ενδεχόμενα - σίγουρα δεν θα συζητούσαμε δημόσια για αυτό. Δεν έχει κανένα νόημα να κάνουμε υποθέσεις για ένα τέτοιο ζήτημα».

Die Zeit - Was, wenn Tsipras sich im Juni neu wählen lässt?

Default within the Eurozone? Keep Talking Greece

Zero Hedge, Varoufakis meeting

Deutsche Welle -worsening outlook

The Telegraph

CNBC - Greece in 'slow-death scenario' amid defaults fears

Bloomberg - Schaeuble Warns Greece to Ditch False Hopes, Do Reforms

Bloomberg - tension rises

Open Europe- What happens

Mignatiou comment

IMF rejects Greek request, To Vima

IMF knocks Greek rescheduling hopes, FT

Wall Street Journal- IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Warns Greece Against Payment Delays

The Telegraph - Greek crisis deepens as Lagarde shoots down hopes for payment relief

IMF Chief Economist, Kathimerini

The IMF and Greece

MR. BLANCHARD - "We are clearly in the middle of negotiations with the Greeks. We very much want to come to an agreement and we hope we will. Now, what happens if no agreement were reached? I think that a number of things are fairly clear. The first one is that, say, an exit from the euro would be extremely costly for Greece. It would be extremely painful. The second point is that, looking at the rest of the Eurozone, the rest of the Eurozone is in a better position to deal with the Greek exit. Some of the firewalls which were not there earlier are there. Still, it will not be smooth sailing, but it could probably be done. The third is that if that were to happen, I think the way to reassure markets and make progress is actually go further, use the opportunity to make progress in terms of the fiscal union and the political union. This would be clearly the right moment to do it".

http://www.imf.org/external/np/tr/2015/tr041415.htm - from Transcript of a Press Briefing on the World Economic Outlook (WEO)Washington, D.C. Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The  Expert Group Task Force, Kathimerini

From Reuters

Wall Street Journal - "Greece’s negotiations with international creditors are going very slowly and are nowhere near the point where bailout money can be disbursed, a senior European Union official said".

Varoufakis back in Washington  Keep Talking Greece

Telegraph report

The state of Greece's coffers, Kathimerini

European Central Bank (ECB) lifts ceiling on Greek loans Wall Street Journal

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