One day after the negotiations were broken off, Greece is again making offers to the EU, ECB and IMF: Prime Minister Tsipras announced that it was ready to continue negotiations. He now wants to accept a central demand from the institutions.
Yesterday it looked as if both sides in the Greek debt dispute would remain tough and irreconcilable: EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker – actually the bridge builder to Athens – broke off the negotiations after only 45 minutes, visibly frustrated. A little later, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rumbled once more in the direction of Brussels: The negotiating partners had demanded new pension cuts, behind which there was clearly "political opportunism".
The termination of the negotiations had direct consequences on the Athens Stock Exchange, where prices fell by seven percent at times. That may explain why Tsipras already signaled willingness to come to an agreement one day after the scandal: They hope to make contact quickly and expect "an invitation from the institutions," said Athens.
And he apparently also made a concession: After long and fierce resistance, the Greek government had accepted a primary surplus target of one percent for 2015, announced the EU Commission. However, the necessary catalog of measures has not yet been presented. It is also unclear whether that will be enough: According to Brussels estimates, Greece will have to save up to two billion euros in addition.
Varoufakis: We need rescheduling
Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis had previously insisted on longer terms for debt repayment and debt relief. He told the "Bild" newspaper that his country needed rescheduling: "This is the only way we can guarantee the repayment of as much debt as possible and also make it." He waived further aid if the creditors offered a haircut. In addition, Greece needs longer terms.
Athens is running out of time
Greece has been struggling for months to release the last 7.2 billion euros from the current rescue program. The lenders – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union – are demanding reforms. 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.
The 19 euro finance ministers will discuss on Thursday. Then it could be decided whether there can be a solution before the end of the rescue program at the end of June. In the event of a state bankruptcy, the donors would probably have to write off a large part of the 240 billion euros granted so far.