Game of Ultimatums: The nonpaper of the Greek government

Earlier today, the Greek government issued a nonpaper targetted towards the institutions. The nonpaper provides, once again, the well-established (by now) red lines of the Greek government, as well as a scathing attack towards IMF representative Gerry Rice, and an attempt to portray the institutions as having vast differences between them. You can find a copy of the original here. Below, read the translated version.

Nonpaper [12.06.2015]

1. The Greek government is negotiating a single agreement that will include unified prerequisites [conditionality] and has submitted its proposal, which is condensed to [this]:

** Small primary surpluses, especially for this year and 2016, so as to split the mechanism of austerity reproduction.

** No new cut in wages and pensions, that is, in measures that will intensify the social inequality and bring the economy back to the spiral of recession.

** Restructuring of the public debt.

** Strong investment program [development package].

2. The government, after contacting Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, and other European officials, is ready, as it is agreed, to intensify the consultations, in order for the agreement to be soon concluded. For this reason, it will continue to work on the remaining issues, such as the fiscal [issue] and the sustainability of the debt.

3. The Greek side has repeatedly stated that the negotiations in the technical levels and in the Brussels Group have concluded and that “the negotiation continues in a political level” (G. Sakellaridis, 08/06/2015). The IMF itself, as stated by its representative Mr. Gerry Rice, acknowledged that indeed the conversation in Brussels is being conducted in a political level, in which it does not want to take part – “we are not a political institution, we are a technical institution,” was his exact phrase. The phrase shows also an internal disagreement between the institutions and a pressure of the IMF towards its lenders [EC and ECB] to return in the “right path” of the technical negotiation. Already, Z. C. Juncker has received the signal, stating [France Culture, 12/06/2015] that “the negotiations will begin again, first in a technical level, and then in a political [one]” in order to “soothen” the IMF. He added, of course, in order to continue the pressure towards the Greek side that “an agreement is necessary in the next days. The ball is in the Greek court.”

4. The non-participation, as such, of the IMF in the political negotiation means nothing more than the pressure towards everyone – the EC, the ECB and Greece. As Mr. Gerry Rice, in fact, clarified, “the IMF never leaves the table of negotiations” and if need be, will return in the negotiations. Perhaps the IMF believes that the best solution would be to receive the money it has given until today, and leave from the program of Greece. It exerts pressure, as such, towards all directions – especially towards Berlin – with the goal of imposing touch policies in Greece in order to ensure [it will get] its money.

5. The representative of the IMF, Mr. Rice, referred to the level of pensions in our country. The data, however, do not confirm him. The average pension in Greece, per category of pension, is 664,69 euro for the main pensions and 168,40 euro for the auxillary pensions. As a matter of fact, the 44,8% of pensioneers (1.189.396 from a total of 2.654.784) receive a monthly pension that is lower than the fixed threshold of relative poverty, which is 665 euro. It should be noted, however, that the average of the monthly pensions in Greece and Germany is about the same.

6. In Greece, for the coverage of the deficit in the pensions, the budget balance provides 9% of GDP (Mr. Gery Rice said 10%), while in Germany it is the 3% of GDP. The difference, however, is only 1,5 percentage points, since from 9% of GDP only 4,55% comprises part of the tripartite financing and the other 4,45% comprises of a state-funded subsidy for the coverage of [the] deficits of the pension system (data from Ageing Report 2012).

7The average age of retirement in Greece for men is 63 years old, and for women 59. In Germany, it is the same for men [63th year] and for women it is their 62nd year (data from the OECD, Pension at Glance 2011). Mr. Gerry Rice has claimed that the average age of retirement in Germany is six years older than that of Greece…


7 thoughts on “Game of Ultimatums: The nonpaper of the Greek government

  1. Fred June 12, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    Love your analysis on Twitter – I don’t tweet but follow your web feed which is truly a public good. Keep up the good work.

    My own 2 cents on the negotiations and differences can be summarized here:


  2. Pingback: GurusBlog
  3. Eusebio pecurto (@Eusebiopecurto) June 15, 2015 / 10:34 am

    The Greece take strong political commitments and fulfill their social security and tributary reforms will not let them go to the beginning


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