Thursday, 12 February 2015 - 09:21
Greece pushes back money talks to Monday
The extra Euro-group meeting about the issue with Greece last night did not achieve anything. Further talks have been pushed back until Monday. In two weeks the Greeks will have no money, and the other 18 Euro Ministers will only agree to help them further if the Greeks accept the conditions attached. Euro-group chairman and Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem acknowledged that despite an extensive discussion, they did not manage to get any closer to a resolution of the conflict between Greece and Europe. "Unfortunately we could not make any decisions about it", Dijsselbloem said. He indicated that the matter will be discussed further during another meeting in Brussels on Monday. Dijsselbloem also wanted to use the next four days to work on a compromise with the Greeks in the background, but even on that point the Euro-zone ministers were unable to agree. "Unfortunately even that did not succeed and the discussions have come to a stop until Monday when we will pick it up again", Dijsselbloem said according to De Telegraaf. The Greek parliament will not support its own government if the country is held under the current Euro-zone and IMF program. Minister Dijsselbloem and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis are therefore trying to find a middle way in which the Euro-group can say that the program was extended and the Greeks can say that a new bridge arrangement has been made, De Telegraaf reports. But on this too both parties are still miles apart, as evidenced by the fact that there will be no negotiations in the coming days and everything is put on the crucial meeting of the European Finance Ministers on Monday. It is possible that Euro-zone Ministers may cautiously try to move the new Greek Prime Minister Tsipras towards a compromise at the EU summit of government leaders that starts today. If such a compromise is reached, it will probably again cost the Netherlands money.