Greece’s bailout negotiations resume again today, and the outlook is no better.
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s biggest newspapers, a senior eurozone official told them that it is “simply impossible” to work with the Greek government.
According to the report the mood in Europe’s institutions is between “frustration and resignation,” and the official suggests that there will be no deal by the time European finance ministers meet for the Eurogroup Summit on April 24, the soft deadline for an agreement.
German business newspaper Handelsblatt even had European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis chiming in to suggest no deal is likely by the time the Eurogroup meets.
The two sides are not moving closer to a deal, said an international official involved with the negotiations. The Greek government’s refusal to proceed with any privatizations, and its pledges to reverse labour-market reform, pension reform and budget savings can’t be accepted by the country’s creditors, the official said.
If the talks go on much longer, they will run towards May 12, the date at which HSBC expects Greece may have to default.
Here’s a chart from Barclays showing major payments coming up for Greece. Without the €7.2 billion ($US7.67 billion) bailout tranche, those May-June payments will become increasingly difficult, and it is extremely unlikely that Athens will make them all:
There’s been no real good news on the talks for several weeks, and the positions haven’t changed: Greece says it is working towards reforms, and European negotiators leak to the press that the government has too many red lines, and no agreement is near.
The Financial Times is now reporting that Greece is planning for a default, after investment bank UBS said it was more likely than not that Greece would now miss at least one payment it owes.