Following the result of yesterday’s referendum, where the Greek people responded with a resounding ‘NO’ to a highly ambiguous (and void) question, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a meeting with the rest of the political leadership in the country. After making his request official yesterday night, at the President of the Democracy, Prokovios Pavlopoulos, the President called the meeting earlier today at the Maximos Building.
What follows is the joint statement released after the conclusion of the meeting, translated in English. You can find the original statement (in Greek), here. Updates (perhaps) to follow, as more info comes in.
The Communist Faction of SYRIZA has initiated a signature-collecting campaign among the many members of the party. In a text to be submitted in the Central Committee of the party on the upcoming weekend (23-24 May) – in the form of a referendum – the Communist Faction is asking from the SYRIZA-led government to “stop paying the lenders-blackmailers” and to “implement the true popular mandate” on which SYRIZA campaigned, and eventually got elected.
Below, you can find a translated version of the text, that has been already signed by 150 members of SYRIZA. The members who have already signed the text hail from different parts of Greece (some are even stationed abroad), and will be asking for the support of all factions within SYRIZA during the weekend.
An important thing to be noted here is the fact that there is no prominent MP or MEP signing the document, at the moment. It is a small part of SYRIZA’s membership asking for a more radical stance from the government towards the finale of the negotiations. Nevertheless, coupled with the “call for rupture” by many prominent members of the Political Secretariat and the Central Committee of SYRIZA that was made just yesterday, this only puts added pressure on many MPs and cabinet members that are already contemplating of breaking with the more moderate line that the government seems to be following. (And I say *seems* here, because, given the way the negotiations have played out until today, and considering the recent comments made by Varoufakis and two spokesmen of SYRIZA, it becomes increasingly apparent that the Greek government is taking its haphazard bluff until the very end.)
In any case, here is the Greek version of the Communist Faction’s document, which includes a link to the signatures collected thus far. Right below, you can find the translated version of the text (minus the 150 names). It is a fascinating call for rupture (once again).
Non paper of the Greek government on the current state of the negotiations.
May 5, 2015
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
Here are the top articles on the political economy of Greece to read today:
- Greece: The gathering storm, by Nick Malkoutzis | Macropolis.gr, Mar 5 2015
- Eurozone QE is here. What could possibly go wrong?, by Alen Mattich | The Wall Street Journal (Moneybeat), Mar 5 2015
- Greece Struggles to Make Debt Math Work in Bailout Standoff, by Nikolaos Chrysoloras, Rebecca Christie and Vassilis Karamanis | Bloomberg, Mar 5 2015
- Greece outlines radical immigration reforms, by Preethi Nallu | Al Jazeera, Mar 5 2015
- 5 questions ECB boss Draghi will face at Thursday’s meeting, by Sara Sjolin | MarketWatch, Mar 5 2015
- Spain insists Greece will need a third bailout – as it happened, by Angela Monaghan | The Guardian, Mar 4 2015
- Germany says third Greek aid package not on Eurogroup agenda, by Andreas Rinke and Madeline Chambers | Reuters, Mar 4 2015
- Can Greece avoid going bankrupt this month?, by Mehreen Khan | The Telegraph, Mar 4 2015
- Greece’s survival depends on more than debt agreements, by Peter Foster | Financial Post, Mar 3 2015
- Austerity is not Greece’s problem, by Ricardo Hausmann | Project Syndicate, Mar 3 2015
- Syriza’s about-face, by Stathis N. Kalyvas | Foreign Affairs, Mar 2 2015
Photo: Ilias Makris (Kathimerini, 01/03/2015)
The Greek government is called to make some major decisions in terms of its economic program in the next few weeks. There is very little time available to Alexis Tsipras’s coalition, not much leeway, and yet too much to do. Although both the Greek Prime Minister and his Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, have softened their tone with their international counterparts, the negotiations are far from over yet. The month of February will be decisive for the future of the Greek economy, but also for the longevity of Tsipras’s shaky coalition. Whoever thought that the most difficult times are past us is in for a newsflash. February will not be a sprint, but a marathon.
Here are the top articles you need to read today on the Greek political economy:
- “I’m the finance minister of a bankrupt country”, Interview with Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis| Zeit Online, Feb 4 2015
- Greece has started debt-swap talks with IMF, minister tells paper | Reuters, Feb 4 2015
- Greece leaders hold key talks with ECB and EU chiefs | BBC News, Feb 4 2015
- It’s not just Greece and Spain that need their debt restructuring, by Jonathan Glennie | The Guardian, Feb 4 2015
- Greece is facing three massive tests of its debt plans today, by Mike Bird | Business Insider, Feb 4 2015
- Crunch time: Greece takes pleas to a hostile Europe, by Holly Ellyatt | CNBC, Feb 4 2015
- Not so strange bedfellows: making sense of the coalition between Syriza and the Independent Greeks, by Takis Pappas | Open Democracy, Feb 3 2015
- For Greece, GDP-linked debt may be more curiosity than cure, by Greg Ip | The Wall Street Journal (Real Time Economics Blog), Feb 3 2015
- Eurozone Should Give Greek Leader Some Time to Reach Compromise, by Hugo Dixon | The New York Times, Feb 3 2015
- Spain keeps hawkish eye on Greece as southern solidarity crumbles, by Tobias Buck | The Financial Times, Feb 3 2015
- Tsipras’ Greek balancing act begins, by Harris Mylonas and Akis Georgakellos | The Washington Post, Feb 3 2015
- A Greek Morality Tale, by Nobel Prize Winner Joseph E. Stiglitz | Project Syndicate, Feb 3 2015
- Greece’s rock-star finance minister Yanis Varoufakis defies ECB’s drachma threats, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | The Telegraph, Feb 3 2015
- Five questions about the ECB’s complicated relationship with Greece, by Brian Blackstone | The Wall Street Journal, Feb 2 2015
The Greek elections might be over, but both domestic and international eyes will still be fully focused on the country for a while. Today, the newly formed government of SYRIZA and ANEL (i.e. Independent Greeks) announced the new Greek cabinet (more to follow on that in the next few days). The new government is tasked with a tremendous weight. It has proposed to break with the path of austerity and follow a more confrontational stance with our international lenders and European partners. In the upcoming weeks, the government of SYRIZA-ANEL will have to take some monumental decisions about the fate of Greece and the country’s economic orientation. Based on their populist-extremist, anti-austerity, and anti-euro(pean) rhetoric up to now, it seems to be ready to make a huge break with the past. Will they continue to remain as firmly adamant as they have proclaimed in the past three years, or will we start witnessing one ‘kolotoumba’ after the other? Stay tuned for updates…
Here are the hottest articles on the Greek political economy that you need to read today:
- Greece debt repayment in full is ‘unrealistic’ says Syriza | BBC News Europe, 27 Jan 2015
- Greece and Europe dig in on bailout terms after Syriza victory in Greek election, by Matthew Karnitschnig and Gabriele Steinhauser | The Wall Street Journal, Jan 27 2015
- European equity rally halted by Greece and weak corporate figures | Reuters, Jan 27 2015
- Greek bonds, stocks drop as leaders to spar on writedown, by Lucy Meakin | Bloomberg BussinessWeek, Jan 27 2015
- Greek Elections: Syriza’s Tsipras faces great expectations, by Giorgos Christides | BBC News, Jan 27 2015
- ECB, Syriza have broken euro zone’s German spells, by Pierre Briancon | Reuters Blogs, Jan 27 2015
- Greek Elections: Why Syriza is ‘playing with fire’ by joining forces with racist Anel, by Gianluca Mezzofiore and Gareth Platt | International Bussiness Times, Jan 27 2015
- Europe’s populists hail Syriza win in Greek elections from Left and Right, by Marcus Walker, Jason Douglas and William Horobin | The Wall Street Journal, Jan 27 2015
- Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras’s picks new Greek cabinet, by Graeme Wearden | The Guardian, Jan 27 2015
- Macro Horizons: Is Greece still the word?, by Allen Mattich and Michael J. Casey | The Wall Street Journal, JanMatthew Karnitsching & Gabriele Steinhauser | The Wall Street Journal, 26 Jan 2015
- Greece: Think Flows, Not Stocks, by Paul Krugman | The New York Times, 26 Jan 2015
- Greece’s new finance minister learned about tearing down capitalism from working at a video game company, by Tim Fernholz | Quartz, Jan 26 2015
- Profile: Greece’s new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, by Phillip Inman and Katie Allen | The Guardian, Jan 26 2015
- Syriza’s win: Greece turns, Europe wobbles | The Economist, Jan 26 2015