Greece isn’t thrilled with the latest offer it’s been presented by the Eurogroup.
And, of course, they shouldn’t be: the offer is indeed terrible (as well as insulting).
Headlines from Bloomberg on Sunday afternoon indicate that a Greek government official said the Greek government views the offer put forth by its European creditors as “very bad.”
No surprise, of course, given that the offer — which isn’t even a bailout but merely a set of conditions Greece must meet before it can begin negotiating a bailout — basically undoes the entirety of what Greece’s government has been working on for the last 6 months. Namely, a new bailout deal that isn’t “more of the same.”
On Thursday, Greece presented an offer to its European creditors that was essentially the same deal Greece walked away from to call a referendum vote on.
And so even before this weekend’s meetings — which were billed as a “last chance” for Greece to strike a deal or get ready to leave the euro — Greece’s Syriza government had gotten no gains since Tsipras was voted into power in late January.
And now they have taken a step backwards.
Sunday’s latest Eurogroup offer outlines not only the likely need for a new bailout of somewhere between 82 and 86 billion euros, but also contemplates no debt restructuring (i.e. Greece’s creditors getting back less than 100 cents on the dollar) unless Greece leaves the euro.
And for the Greeks, the insulting part of this proposal is that not only was their complete capitulation rejected, but the Eurogroup essentially blames Greece for getting in this position because of incompetence, writing: “There are serious concerns regarding the sustainability of Greek debt. This is due to the easing of policies during the last twelve months, which resulted in the recent deterioration in the domestic macroeconomic and financial environment.”
The plan also discusses a scenario in which Greece could have a “time-out” from the euro and possible restructure its debt, though it is made clear that will not be the case if Greece leaves.
As we noted on Sunday, however, some experts sharply observed that there probably isn’t a plausible “time-out” scenario. Either Greece leaves the euro and its economy does fine, in which case Greece isn’t likely to want to re-join; or, Greece leaves the euro and its economy implodes, in which case the euro zone isn’t likely to want Greece to re-join the currency union.
So the basic situation right now for Greece is that on Thursday, their bailout proposal was a surrender to their creditors and went against the results of the referendum.
And now this surrender has not been accepted.
As it stands right now, Greece appears to have until Wednesday to find some middle ground. This, of course, is very much subject to change.
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