Courtesy of Mish.
Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’
It now strongly appears as if Greece, Germany, and the nannycrats in Brussels are all on one hell of a collision course. Both sides have dug in, and the war of words has escalated in all corners.
For example, please consider Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’, Yanis Varoufakis Says
Greece will no longer co-operate with the “troika” of international lenders that has overseen its four-year bailout programme, the country’s finance minister said.
Yanis Varoufakis also said Greece would not accept an extension of its EU bailout, which expires at the end of February, and without which Greek banks could be shut off from European Central Bank funding.
“This position enabled us to win the trust of the Greek people,” Mr Varoufakis said during a joint news conference with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, who was visiting Athens for the first time since a leftwing government came to power this week.
He also blasted the deeply unpopular bailout monitors from the European Commission, IMF and ECB, also known as “ the troika”, saying: “We are not going to co-operate with a rottenly constructed committee.”
Germany Prepared for Negotiation But Won’t Negotiate
The position of Germany and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, is equally one-sided.
Mr Dijsselbloem warned the new government against taking unilateral steps or ignoring arrangements with lenders, saying “the problems of the Greek economy have not disappeared overnight with the elections.”
Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, warned Athens on Friday against trying to “blackmail” Germany with its financial demands.
Mr Schäuble said Germany was ready to co-operate but only on the basis of current agreements. “We’re prepared for any discussions at any time but the basis can’t be changed,” he said. “Beyond that, it is hard to blackmail us.”
Martin Jäger, the German finance ministry spokesman, said any request for an extension of the existing financing programme would only be acceptable when it was “tied with a clear readiness of Greece to implement the agreed reforms”.