The back and forth in the Greek debt dispute continues. After Prime Minister Tsipras offered further negotiations yesterday, Finance Minister Varoufakis declared that no new reform list would be presented for the time being.
Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis does not want to present a new list of reforms at the meeting of euro finance ministers from Thursday. In an interview with the "Bild" newspaper, he said that the Eurogroup was not the forum for proposals that had not previously been discussed at the lower negotiating level.
The Greek negotiating team is "ready at any time to find a comprehensive solution with our partners". The prerequisite is that the representatives of the European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and EU "come to the negotiating table with a clear, tough mandate".
"You had no mandate"
At the weekend in Brussels, when the negotiations were broken off without a result, this was not the case, said Varoufakis: "The representatives of the creditor institutions told us that they did not have the mandate to deeply negotiate our proposals and measures to resolve the debt crisis. " This was the reason why there was no result.
According to the EU Commission, however, the differences were too great and there was too little movement on the Greek side. From their point of view, a resumption of talks only makes sense if the Greek side makes new proposals. On Thursday the euro finance ministers are looking for a compromise again. The very last chance for negotiations is likely to be an EU summit next week.
Tsipras’ "half" concession
Yesterday, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signaled his readiness to negotiate again after the talks were temporarily broken off. He hoped to get in touch quickly and expected "an invitation from the institutions", it was said from Athens. The institutions mean the former troika made up of the IMF, EU and ECB creditors.
Tsipras apparently also made a kind of concession: After long and fierce resistance, the Greek government accepted a primary surplus target of one percent for 2015, the EU Commission announced. However, the necessary catalog of measures has not yet been presented.
D-Day is getting closer
Greece has been struggling for months to release the last 7.2 billion euros from the current rescue program. The lenders are demanding reforms for this.
According to experts, Athens is on the verge of bankruptcy and thus possibly also on the verge of leaving the euro. At the end of June, Greece had to repay 1.6 billion euros to the IMF, and a little later another billion euros to the ECB.