France Says There Must Be No Bilateral Accords On Greece


European politicians seem to be making little progress in resolving a dispute over the Greek bailout that has been raging on since August 16.

Here’s the latest:

– French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse told reporters today that France “want[s] this deal to be implemented and nothing but this deal. We reassert that there can be no bilateral agreement without the approval and agreement of the entire euro zone,” according to Reuters. However, the July 21 agreement actually did make provisions for some sort of collateral arrangement between Finland and Greece (though not any other countries).

– German newspaper Handelsblatt reported today (via Dow Jones Newswires) that EU leaders were considering bank shares as collateral. This provision could extend to nations beyond Finland, and may also sidestep legal issues that would accompany a cash agreement.

– Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen announced today that he sees the situation being resolved in “a few days or weeks” — hardly reassuring.

Last week Finland sparked controversy when it negotiated a bilateral collateral agreement with Greece as a condition of its participation in the Greek bailout. A host of other EU countries jumped on board the collateral bandwagon, and now bickering over collateral threatens to unravel the bailout deal altogether — or at the very least delay it indefinitely.