The union and the euro are at stake, Greece warns EU

Greek-Crisis-Vs-Europe-Policy

Greek-Crisis-Vs-Europe-Policy


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “The union and the euro are at stake, Greece warns EU” was written by Helena Smith in Athens, for The Guardian on Wednesday 1st April 2015 19.06 UTC

The viability of the EU – and its most cherished creation, the single currency – are at stake, Greece warned on Wednesday as the country at the epicentre of the continent’s debt crisis continued to haggle over a cash-for-reforms deal with international creditors keeping it afloat.

Presenting eurozone officials with its latest list of measures aimed at unlocking badly needed aid, Athens’s leftist-led government urged EU member states to forge a new relationship based on “solidarity, resolve and mutual respect”.

“The Hellenic Republic considers itself to be a proud member of the European Union and an irrevocable member of the eurozone,” stated the introduction of a 26-page list of reforms proposed by the Greek government and leaked by the Financial Times in Brussels. “Yet the viability of that union, and especially of the common currency, is now in question, in the minds of many Greek citizens as it is in the minds of many among our European partners.”

The document – the centrepiece of a teleconference call between officials representing the euro working group officials and Greek finance ministry – said it was now up to the EU to rise to the challenge.

“It is necessary now, without further delay, to turn a corner on the mistakes of the past and to forge a new relationship between member states, a relationship based on solidarity, resolve, mutual respect and a new hope for common progress,” it read.

Austerity-stricken Greece wanted to “launch a new partnership” and a new model for development and growth within the bloc.

The warning came as fraught negotiations between Athens and foreign lenders showed little sign of concluding anytime soon – and as liquidity in crisis-hit Greece showed every sign of drying up imminently.

A widely anticipated meeting of eurozone finance ministers – at which a potential deal would be given the seal of approval – is unlikely to happen in the coming days. Greek officials had hoped that €7.2bn (£5.2bn) in emergency funding, outstanding from its €240bn original bailout programme, would be disbursed once the comprehensive plan had been presented. The aid is vital to averting default and staving off the country’s euro exit.

Instead, Greek officials spoke of negotiations continuing throughout April, with another euro working group likely to take place next week. “There is a growing sense of convergence even if the talks are difficult,” said one. “The next euro group is likely to take place as scheduled on the 24th.”

That leaves Athens desperately trying to keep apace with debt repayments – it must redeem €450m to the IMF on 9 April – while servicing government expenditure as public finances become ever more perilous.

Creditors at the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have insisted that bailout funds will not be forthcoming if Greece fails to provide a convincing plan of reforms to overhaul its economy and boost competitiveness. Germany, which has contributed the most to the bailout programme, has said prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s administration has until the end of April, at the very latest, to propose reforms.

Greek officials are clearly feeling the heat. Many are finding it increasingly hard to hide their exasperation with tactics they say are deliberately aimed at undermining Tsipras’s two-month-old anti-austerity government. “A campaign of rumour, innuendo and deliberate leaks is being waged against us,” said one well-placed source. “They keep saying the Greeks are not well-prepared, they haven’t done their homework, their proposals are vague, all of which are grotesque and preposterous lies.”

With each passing day – as savers withdraw funds and non-performing loans mount – the Greek banking system came closer to collapse. “It seems they want to push us to the brink of Grexit [a Greek exit from the euro], squeeze us to our last drop of blood and breath, in the hope that they can get a little bit more out of us.”

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About Carl William Brown

I'm Carl William Brown a holistic teacher, a webmaster, a trader, and a writer of aphorisms and essays. I have written more than 9,000 original quotations and at present I'm also working at my only novel, Fort Attack, which is also a wide and open blog project. At the moment I'm teaching English in a secondary school, but up to now I have done a lot of other things as well, both in business, educational, sport and social fields. Some years ago, in 1997 following the examples of the Rotary or the Lyons Clubs I founded the Daimon Club Organization to promote every sort of activities, creativity, art, literature, new technologies, informatics, business and marketing, public health and education and to meet new friends with these kind of interests.
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