The Prime Minister, who had rejected the proposal of the Eurogroup, has now practically accepted all the conditions set out in the proposal
Nothing less than the complete refusal of the illegal debt would hae been a defeat for Greece, yet, the ‘strong man’ who came to power promising no more of the same bended his knee at the last minute and has now, once again, delivered Greece into the hands of the Troika.
It is a desperate new twist in the Greek crisis. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has sent another letter to the European institutions in which he accepts virtually all conditions of the offer rejected last week before calling the referendum.
The text, revealed by the Financial Times, said that Greece “is ready to accept” the conditions of the European offer, with some minor amendments.
With this letter, Tsipras hopes to achieve an extension to the second bailout that expired yesterday -the rescue and the development of a third bailout.
The Commission, however, rejected an extension of the current program “because it expired yesterday” as it warned that now there are new conditions”.
On his last minute offer Tsipras maintained most of the conditions requested in the proposal put forward by the Eurogroup and added some of his own, such as the VAT tax rate to touristic institutions, which would be of 13%, a growth package of 35 billion and a reference to the restructuring of the debt.
Tsipras conditions include setting a special discount of 30% of the VAT to the Greek islands, a minimum delay on increasing the retirement age and an extention to the deadlines to remove the pension supplement funds which is awarded to the lowest incomes.
More problematic may be the offer to reduce military spending over 200 million in 2016 and 400 million in 2017. On the labor market, Tsipras promises to establish a new framework by the Fall of this year.
The Eurogroup will meet again this afternoon at 17.30 to examine these proposals. None of them seem unreasonable as they are pretty much the same ones from last week, but with minor changes.
The problem is that the partners may consider Tsipras’ proposal too little too late and may not be willing to negotiate anything before the referendum. Apparently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is fed up with the continuous flip flopping from Tsipras, will object eventhe smallest amendments required by the Greek prime minister.
After several weeks of more upbeat comments about the outcome of the Greek problem, Juncker has refused to evaluate this new charter and its consequences. It has only said to be “in constant contact with the Greek authorities and other authorities”. He spoke with the EU executive vice president Valdis Dombrovskis to lower expectations for an immediate deal after the partial concessions from Tsipras.
“The second bailout program has expired and now Greece intend to negotiate a third one, but that’s a decision of the Eurogroup. Greece has called for a new two-year program, but the situation in Greece is now considerably worse than before Saturday, especially with capital controls “.
In that vein, the Eurogroup’s Dombrovskis has asked not to take any steps against Athens over unpaid IMF loans until there is a clear possibility of negotiating with the Greek government.