The nonpaper of the Greek government regarding the state of negotiations

Non paper of the Greek government on the current state of the negotiations.

May 5, 2015

  1. The serious disagreements and contradictions between the IMF and the EU are creating obstacles in the negotiations, as well as high risks. While until recently the main argument of the institutions was that the Greek side did not submit complete proposals, now it is clear that proposals have indeed been submitted and that there have been substantial concessions towards the direction of an “honorable compromise.”
  1. The difference of strategy, however, between the institutions is creating obstacles.
    • The IMF puts its red lines on the reforms, especially on pension and labour reforms, while it has loose lines on the topic of the primary surplus. On the back of the mind of the IMF lies the thought of debt write off, so that this can be rendered sustainable.
    • On the contrary, the European Commission has red lines on the topic of the primary surplus, and consequently, on the issue of not cutting the debt, and loose lines on tough reforms, such as those regarding pensions and labour relations.
  1. As a result, the totality of the institutions has red lines everywhere: pension reforms, labour reforms (IMF), and primary surplus (EC). Under these circumstances there can be no compromise. The responsibility belongs exclusively to the institutions and their weakness of communicating with each other.
  1. The Greek government, having realized the glaring contradiction, decided to take the initiative:
    • not to bring [for a vote] in the Parliament the multi-bill before there is potential for an agreement.
    • to put on the table of discussion the ‘next day,’ that is, the exit plan [of the country] towards the markets and the financing of growth in the post-June era.
  1. Today’s FT [Financial Times] fully reveal the contradictory strategies utilized between the Eurozone and the IMF (see the article of Peter Spiegel). The FT reveal that the head of the European department of the IMF, Paul Thomsen, has warned the Finance Ministers of the Eurozone that “perhaps the IMF will not provide its share of the tranche of 7.2bn euros” if “they do not write-off a significant part of Greece’s debt.” At the same time, P. Spiegel notes that “the Eurozone, which owns the biggest part of the Greek debt, is firmly opposed to the [idea of] debt relief.”
  1. At the same time, the European Commissioner for Economic & Financial Affairs, Taxation & Customs, Pierre Moscovisi, confirmed the contradiction between the EC and the IMF, saying that the issue of the debt “can be discussed only after an agreement on a reform program.” A strategic disagreement, which has Greece at its epicenter, between the EC and the IMF, and works to the detriment of the country.

Addendum: You can find a version of the nonpaper in Greek, here.


6 thoughts on “The nonpaper of the Greek government regarding the state of negotiations

    • Pancho May 5, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      @iGlinavos: Even if you found a grain of truth, your impatience with Syriza isn’t helpful at all, I’d even say, it tends to be detrimental. I’m wondering what kind of solidarity that is.

      Syriza has promised to reach out for nothing less than a fair and sustainable compromise. To any rational mind, it should be clear that the only alternative to that would be unilateral moves finally putting austerity and asphyxiation to an end. In the end, there’s only one thing that entirely isn’t on the cards: the continuation of the disastrous status quo as brought upon Greek society in order to externalise costs for bailing out European banks.

      Now I’m aware of the short- and medium-term problems a Grexit would pose to the Greek economy, and it is more than obvious that the Syriza leadership is just as much aware of this. Actually, if you bother to read newer and older papers of Syriza “centrists” and pragmatic leftists like Tsakalotos, Milios or even Kouvelakis, you would be entirely convinced that Syriza isn’t looking for a good show but struggling hard for a viable and responsible course.

      Actually every other Greek strategy would have been “sexier” and easier than keeping itself exposed to the sustained shelling by the German “Ordnungspolitik” warriors, and their sherpas and sycophants. But as long as these keep spitting out unaccomplishable demands, character assassinations and treacherous deceptions, you will (hopefully) agree that it is a mere impossibility to sign an agreement, lest it be suicidal for the subaltern crowds of Greece and Southern Europe.

      Eventually, Schäuble’s scaringly short-sighted terror tactics will come to an end, but I agree with you, hopefully that is before he has driven what once used to be the “common European project” into a state of fear, hate and distrust.


    • Zoe Keller (@KellerZoe) May 5, 2015 / 11:32 pm

      I think people like you is undermining greek gov’s space of bargaining: if you go to a negotiation without threatening something that hurts your counterparts you are the loser from the beginning


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