ATHENS: Greece and its membership in Europe's joint currency faced an uncertain future Monday, with the country under pressure to reach a bailout deal with creditors as soon as possible after Greeks resoundingly rejected the notion of more austerity in exchange for aid. With Greek banks running out of cash and facing the danger of collapse within days without new aid, the government in Athens is racing against the clock.
BRUSSELS/ATHENS — Greece has three days to reassure Europe and the International Monetary Fund it can deliver on conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid, four eurozone officials said on Tuesday.
The lenders are unhappy with progress Greece has made towards reforming its public sector, a senior eurozone official involved in the negotiations said, while another said they might suspend an inspection visit they resumed on Monday.
Those looking for a bit of humor in the European debacle can find it in statements from Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers.
Juncker says "I don’t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda. We have to respect Greek democracy."
Bear in mind this statement comes from the same man who said "When it becomes serious, you have to lie."
Greece pulled back on budget concessions to its creditors in new proposals Tuesday, as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it would be “daft” to accept blame for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s predicament.
The latest plan falls short of the budget targets that Tsipras agreed on in a June 3 meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a European Union official said. Greece didn’t dispute those objectives in any of its subsequent meetings with creditor institutions last week, according to the official.
As reported yesterday, Greece has stormed right back to the top of the crisis charts, not only due to the previously reported news that the IMF may be withholding further payments until Greece finally gets its house in order (three years later one can forget this will happen), but because as a result of the fallout surrounding the national broadcaster ERT, the coalition government is now in tatters.
According to the Greek website Kathimerini, Troika talks break down.
A second meeting between troika officials in Athens and Greece's Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis broke down on Tuesday, after the two sides hit a deadlock for the second time in the same day.