24 June – Eurogroup in Brussels

German finance minister confesses to having appropriated part of the ECB profits from trading in Greek shares – profits that the Eurogroup had already agreed ought to be returned to Greece.

Speaker 1 (00:00:00):

… conditions restoring [inaudible] to the Greek economy. Thank you.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:00:00):

Christine Lagarde (00:00:00):

Thank you very much, Jeroen. Um, I can very happily confirm what Pierre has just indicated, which is that on the review of the prior action list, the three institutions are exactly on the same page. There’s no difference between us, and we are guided by the same principles. And I just want to remind all of us what the principles are, in order to meet the shortage that, uh, Mario has just identified. The actions have to be credible in what they deliver. They have to be least growth unfriendly in order to help the Greek economy forward. They need to be fiscally sustainable and they need to be fair. And all together it needs to add up. Thank you.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:01:08):

Thank you. Um, Yanis, you have any comments on where we are?

Yanis Varoufakis (00:01:16):

Well, I, uh, agree with, uh, Pierre, Mario and Christine. In particular, Mario is spot on. The reason why the recession has deepened in the last months is, as Mario said, a combination of uncertainty and lack of credit. I would like to add to the causes of uncertainty, the fact that for a while now… I’m not going to specify the period of time… it is not clear to investors, it is not clear to consumers, it is not clear to citizens in Greece, uh, how the, um, debt sustainability, which is absolutely necessary in order to remove uncertainty can be established under the present circumstances with the program that we’ve had so far. This is something that we have to be very careful about in, uh, um, planning, designing into the agreement, which we are all very, uh, we are all w- working very hard towards.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:02:19):

Uh, the four principles that Christine outlined, uh, credible actions, growth friendly policies, fiscally sustainable, uh, arrangements, and fairness are the ones that are also our top priorities. And I’m pleased also to report that the discussions that have been happening today, yesterday, all these days, are frank, they are very, uh, intense. I think that we’ve reached the point when we are talking about exactly what needs to be talked about. And we hope that, uh, the work that’s going to be put in by everyone… And I would like to thank everyone who’s putting the work into these discussions… is going to produce the fruits that, uh, we all want to see produced, and that tomorrow’s Eurogroup is going to [crosstalk] seal a mutually beneficial agreement. Thank you. [inaudible]

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:03:19):

Colleagues, any questions at this point, from your side?

Speaker 5 (00:03:27):

[inaudible] I think we have a very clear assignment which was put down by you in the first statement of the 20th of February. And I’m determined not to come back to you with proposals that do not comply with that agreement. Where we are now, we cannot present such proposals. [crosstalk] So in terms of process, uh, my proposal would be and has been, uh, strong, uh, conjunction with, uh, President Juncker, with Christine, with Mario [inaudible 00:04:07], that we continue work tonight with the Greeks [inaudible] the Greek, uh, delegations of course prepared to do so. We must ask you to stay, standby to continue this meeting tomorrow morning. But you can be assured that we will only come back to, with proposals to you, if they are in line with what we have outlined, the framework that we put in the second statement of the 20th of February. Over to you, Peter.

Peter Kažimír (00:04:40):

[inaudible] listening what, uh, the institution said, and Yanis said, and you have said, I don’t want to, to spoil the [inaudible] move which is here but, uh, if there is no deal tomorrow morning, I request you to table the issue of [inaudible] because I am not ready to [inaudible 00:05:06 includes “information about”]. Thank you.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:05:05):


Luis de Guindos (00:05:06):

Uh, thank you, Jeroen. Uh, you know, in my, in my last intervention, uh, last, uh, Monday, I said very clearly that, uh, you know there is something that we should not do, is to create false expectations. Uh, well, we have seen the reaction of the market. Uh, tomorrow, I think that we will have, uh, you know, the inverse evolution and performance of the markets. I am not concerned about that. I am surely concerned about volatility the market plays, no, because, uh, I have suffered that, uh, uh, you know, as minister of finance of Spain, you know, in 2012, no? And I know what that does mean for, uh, you know, a government, and for a country. Uh, Mario, and, and Yanis agrees, has said that, you know, the two main problems that are causing, uh, the recession in Greece is the combination of uncertainty, and lack of credit.

Luis de Guindos (00:06:27):

Uh, well, uh, I think that it’s very clear that the combination of uncertainty and lack of credit can create a recession, but also can make a dent in the credibility of the solutions. I’m not, uh, concerned about, uh, you know, being convinced without, uh, you know, any definitive conclusion to a meeting like this. But I think that, uh, uh, it’s very important, it’s very important, not only for Greece, but, uh, for you know, all the ministers around this table and for our campus that we try to maintain, uh, certainty and, uh, credit. I think that, that’s extremely relevant.

Male (00:07:21):

[inaudible 00:07:21].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:07:21):

Thank you. First of all, I’d like to thank warmly the institutions for their hard work [inaudible] [crosstalk] for their hard work that will continue, I understand. Second point, you already anticipated, uh, I would like to plea that this group is convened, not just when there is a final solution, but when there is some probability of solution. This is not because, like everybody else, we’re a bit concerned about flying back and forth, which can be nice, but because there is an additional risk which I am beginning to spot, that the Eurogroup may lose credibility if we keep meeting without making progress. And of course, this, beyond a specific point we’re discussing today, is very important for the credibility of the, of the Eurozone going forward. My final point is about prior access. Uh, I fully share Christine’s list of features that should be, accompany prior actions, credible, fair, growth friendly, sustainable. Of course, prior actions are there to show, not just that, uh, a country is able to, uh, implement a policy that is needed, it is also willing to do so. Uh, as I said last time, we are badly running out of time, and we’re probably badly running out of trust, which is possibly even worse. So I will encourage, uh, that we, uh, reach the, reach an agreement, at least of prior actions, as a first step towards a, the deeper agreement.

Wolfgang Schäuble (00:09:03):

I would first of all follow up to Luis when he said [inaudible] wrong expectations is dangerous. Of course, uh, sometimes markets are flying against the risk of increasing volatility ’cause, uh, they might follow deceptions. Therefore, uh, I think we should be a little more careful. By the way, he might be right but when I followed a press conference after our last Eurogroup on Monday, I was a little bit surprised. And I, I, I have questioned myself as I have, uh, [inaudible] it was a little bit different because the atmosphere was [inaudible] in the press conference was much more [inaudible] the substance we have discussed in our Eurogroup [inaudible]. Second to Marcus, it’s fine but I don’t like because it’s never [inaudible] the contest was mentioned. I don’t like, really like, to, uh, extend [inaudible 00:09:50]. A little bit [inaudible] some of us have some other schedules as well. Well, believe it or not, but sometimes I have, uh, other obligations as well. [crosstalk] last week was nice, and I can’t stay four days and waiting until someone, who by the way is not the responsible one. Make some agreement [inaudible].

Wolfgang Schäuble (00:11:11):

I always list- I always reading newspapers from the talk of creditors. Creditors are the member states of [inaudible 00:11:18]. yours. We have [inaudible] stability mechanism. We have rules for this. National rules [inaudible 00:11:37]. You might have to make decisions. [inaudible 00:13:16, partly in German: “…jetzt. Erste mal…”?]. I know, I know, of governments which are saying we will not, we will not decide, as long as we have not and uh, uh, recommendations by the [inaudible] because it’s up to the [inaudible 00:12:10] We are the governments by the way. [Inaudible]. We have asked the three institutions to, to decide programs which enable a, another [inaudible] of a program to recover. It’s what we call [inaudible 00:12:32]. Ask her to, to, uh, wait, uh, [inaudible] or not. Of course there is, there is experience tested. Institutions are charged with a [inaudible], and they negotiate with the [inaudible 00:13:04], with the government principals. That is information. And then they make a common recommendation, what we call a [inaudible – German?] based on discussed. And of course if we just have mentioned, Monday “ist immer jung” is a statement [inaudible].

Wolfgang Schäuble (00:13:29):

We have never agreed with anyone [crosstalk] this is a mistake, but this is get, get sustainability missing, additional financing, and, and, and, and. Not to mention that uh, Yanis in our Eurogroup meeting [inaudible] conditions that [inaudible] SMP, from, from, from the ECB would come to the ECB [inaudible 00:13:58]. There is a huge, a huge amount of gaps and everybody agrees that these gaps can only be closed by the member state. And I don’t know how this showed up. [inaudible] I would strongly ask the institutions not to agree on any [inaudible 00:14:30]. That has to be decided, discussed and decided in the Eurogroup, nobody else ’cause otherwise there will be [inaudible] I have a lot of ideas, uh, to imagine what’s, uh, [inaudible] but if you did this, we [crosstalk] I have, we have to remember [inaudible] member state [inaudible] waiting until someone else has, uh, uh, [inaudible] on the focus or not. And therefore, uh, I do not like this [inaudible – job?], okay. And we will see, but it is with this doubt don’t think you can find solutions which request additional money.

Wolfgang Schäuble (00:15:27):

I don’t have no method, not at all even to negotiate an additional. [inaudible] Including, hear that, including SMP, that’s right. It was our project, uh, uh and it was also in light of [inaudible, contains”including”] as the Greek [inaudible] which we have a clear uh, uh, uh, uh agreement [crosstalk] which focus, but as long as [crosstalk] I cannot tell you, and as a case we are not, um, we are not in a potential close, okay on this, but we are in a, in a, in a potential plus [inaudible 00:16:36]. I have to [crosstalk] SMP for my budget. [inaudible] what is in line with the agreement, I have seen a lot of ideas, but could be, uh, could be [inaudible] therefore, uh, we can’t ask the institutions to make [inaudible 00:17:08][crosstalk 00:17:15]. We can’t discuss this and we can’t decide it. Otherwise…

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:17:29):

[inaudible 00:17:29]. Um, first of all, I want to thank the institutions and the Greek government, uh, to try to bring something in progress [inaudible 00:17:40]. So in my opinion [inaudible] meeting because [inaudible] we have the same situation as we having tonight. We have no papers, we have no information. We have, uh, no possibility to check the consequences of an agreement. Uh, we don’t know how is there, or is there any gap of financial [inaudible] for the second half of the year. We don’t know, is there any gap for financing for the next year. We don’t know, is, uh, is, uh, probably this past, uh, reconstruction, uh, reconstruction of the debt, uh, of the debts, uh, in line with, uh, our agreement. Uh, we don’t know, is it possible to make this deal with the DSM, and the ECB.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:18:34):

Um, I must be clear that, uh, I have to ask my parliament, uh, if there is something discussed about [inaudible] and, uh, [inaudible] . So that’s not so easy and I cannot realize how it is possible to make a decision tomorrow morning, uh, without having the final papers, without getting the, uh, statement of the institutions, uh, about the question if it is, uh, comprehensive, uh, to that, uh, MOU and to our decision of [inaudible] agendas. And, uh, it’s… and, uh, I feel myself not able to make this decision without any information. And so it would be better, finish this process, finish the information, give us this information [inaudible] then you start the next [inaudible 00:19:27].

Edward Scicluna (00:19:38):

Okay, thanks, uh, Jeroen. Just one sort of observation/question on the process and then one quick comment on, on the substance. Just in the process, I mean, I, I of course find it exciting that I’ve been at three Eurogroups, uh, [inaudible] for six days. Uh, and, and, I was wondering how you plan to take this forward because what I see happening now is that, we’ll interrupt this meeting here, let the institutions of Greece work over a document, then we reconvene here in the morning. But I am not convinced, politically, that there will be a deal tomorrow morning, and perhaps… And this is more, uh, a question to Yanis… is there sort of a, some kind of guarantee that, uh, if your Prime Minister doesn’t wanna bring it up in the European Council one more time, which would then mean that we would probably have to reconvene on Friday evening?

Edward Scicluna (00:20:41):

Why do I say Friday evening? Because there needs to be a deal by Saturday morning, so that it can be then pushed, possibly, through the Greek parliament, so that it can then be approved by our parliaments. So that would basically mean that we would have, I don’t know, four, five, even six Eurogroups, within approximately eight days. Now, um, I don’t know, some people mentioned, and I think, correctly, the credibility, uh, of the Eurogroup, in, in, in this whole process and, and how we look. That’s one side of the story. The other side of the story is, is what Mario was talking about, basically market reaction because now we’re going back and, and, and forth. So I just wanted to ask you, Jeroen, how you plan to take it forward and also just some kind of a rain check from Yanis, on, on whether there is an attempt to push it one more time, uh, to the summit, uh, meeting, which I, I don’t think in and of itself would be helpful. But [inaudible] I think that’s what’s gonna happen.

Edward Scicluna (00:21:47):

Finally, on substance, I agree fully with what, for instance, Wolfgang said, uh, also what Hans Jörg said. I think we should stick to February 20. I think we need clear prior actions, we need commitments and, and conditionality. I don’t think that has changed. I’m just feeling [inaudible] you know, I have a feeling that we’re involved in a slightly surreal negotiation in the sense that the Euro working group is working on some kinds of decorations about an outcome, which they are not a part of the negotiation. And, and, you know, the, the Euro working group, uh, having read the report was, was extremely interesting, and the rest of it, but there’s a feeling that they are working on something that we don’t know the final outcome. And that’s probably what makes the whole process, uh, a little bit challenging [inaudible -01:22:32].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:22:31):

Thank you, Edward. Due to the sake of, uh, meeting some of the things which my colleagues have mentioned, um, I’d like to push our, our, our position. Um, since the, uh, February, we all agree that a lot of damage has been done to the, uh, Greek economy. Um, now, over the last week starting on Friday, with the events themselves, are putting into question our own credibility now. The ability of the Eurozone and the institutions [inaudible 00:23:22]. So we have to be really careful in, in delineating where we go from here, even about the meeting you have tomorrow. I think the litmus test of the negotiations tonight, shouldn’t be what Greece wants or what we want, and so on, but how are we going to be seen to the world outside?

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:23:43):

The financial markets, are they going to be better? If that title is, uh, [inaudible] um, how would the financial markets [inaudible] to assess it so because finally, they are meant to help Greece regain strength, and grow, and it’s not politically what’s convenient [inaudible] this or the other. And, um, it’s a tall order, perhaps, to do, uh, during one night. But, um, we have to do that. And then we will do [inaudible] discuss, is it a good idea to say, “Let’s meet tomorrow,” because we can’t meet today because we don’t have the confidence. And we don’t know what’s beyond there and we need to discuss this contingency plan. This, this, uh, uh way, uh, forward to protect the Eurogroup’s credibility.

Christine Lagarde (00:24:56):

Thank you Jeroen. Um, I’m going to repeat other’s work but I think this issue of speaking consecutively to say that there is nothing substantial to discuss is really bad, uh, and when I was told that there would be a meeting today my first question was, “Is there enough time for a proposal to be discussed?” The answer I received was, “There has to be.” Ah, and the priority is not, and given that this has happened twice, I think it’s very [inaudible] to us that, uh, if it is reasonable to reconvene another meeting without the issue being discussed, decided, I think that on substance it has been said and repeated by many what is necessary to [inaudible] agreement, list of directions, um, a common position by the three institutions, all the preconditions in mind with the, uh, statement of February.

Christine Lagarde (00:25:57):

But in terms of process, this is clearly not going well. Um, I know that this is no one’s intention, but I think that our whole credibility, of all of us is really on the line. I think institutions that we [inaudible 00:26:12], the whole world has the eyes set on us and we will be leaving tonight saying that this wasn’t [inaudible 00:26:20], that we will meet again tomorrow morning. And then there’s a summit in the afternoon, so I think we should really think whether it’s sensible to [inaudible] say that there will be a meeting tomorrow because, if there is, ready or not, there should be a decision no matter what.

Christine Lagarde (00:26:38):

We should not let ourselves be in a position to meet for a third time to conclude that there is nothing to conclude. That the loss of credibility is way too damaging for us all. It’s hurting Greece, it’s hurting everyone else and it’s leading nowhere. And if we get to an agreement at a later stage, and it’s clear to us whether this is final, whether we will reconvene again and decide something else, so I really urge for us to think whether it makes sense to meet tomorrow morning. If it doesn’t then let’s make sure that the next meeting is the last regardless of the outcome. This is really something that the world will not understand and [crosstalk 00:27:27].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:27:29):

[crosstalk] Um, Pierre.

Pierre Moscovici (00:27:36):

Thank you Jeroen. Um, I will be very brief because I think most things have been said. Uh, but I underline that what is on the line here is, uh, obviously not only the problems that Greeks and the Greek governmental people have, but it’s the credibility of the Eurogroup and the credibility of the Eurozone and in the end credibility of the Euro. I have this strange feeling which we cannot even communicate to the outside world that we have basically not a lot, not a lot to say if not to say, nothing to say at all, because we don’t have documents in front of us.

Pierre Moscovici (00:28:17):

This is not a criticism to the three institutions. I think they are doing a wonderful job. But the time has come where we we, we must know what’s on the table for the good sake of this negotiation. I think [inaudible] was alluding to it when he said, “There must be a time where the document comes to this table.” And, um, when you know, as Fontaine has mentioned it that quite a few countries cannot really give a go anyway without consulting their parliament or consulting, at least, I suppose, their Prime Minister, uh, which is my case. Uh, it is impossible to believe that if we continue tomorrow morning, and are confronted with document that we put on the table, where hopefully the three institution are going to tell us, “We think this, this is a good solution.” Then we still need to get back, and we [inaudible] in a minute.

Pierre Moscovici (00:29:11):

And, last but not least, uh, I really think we need to be honest amongst ourselves to which extent we want to have a deal. So, in other words, what is the scope of the deal that we’re talking about? Are we talking about, what I call the very short term deal, which deals with problems of liquidity and finishing the, the program, and just prolonging it for a, for a few weeks so that we can do the payments? Is that what we are expecting tomorrow, or whenever? Or are we expecting something larger. So if we are expecting something larger, then obviously the answer is, we are in no position to, to, to give any green light to anything that requests additional money.

Pierre Moscovici (00:30:00):

What we are discussing, I think, or that was my understanding is, that we’re in the framework of the 20th of February agreement and so that’s still the state of mind I have but I hear that lots of other ideas are on the table and they were also mentioned on Monday, but we have never discussed them here and I think they cannot really be so I would say, as a conclusion, we can only meet tomorrow, eventually, in the afternoon, if before that we get a piece of paper that we would have a couple of hours to study, and make up our own minds, and be sure this is it. It’s all short-term solutions, which we need. And other issues are postponed for later or are not discussed yet. But I would like enough clarity on this last point because, if we are still hoping, or some are still hoping, that we’re going to have something that goes beyond the very short term, I’m pretty sure there is no way we can find a solution.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:31:14):

Michel: [00:31:12: starts speaking, in French, until 00:34:58]

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:31:14):


Michael Noonan (00:34:11):

Thank you very much, Jeroen. I’ll be here in the morning. I don’t know how long I will stay unless there’s appropriate documents on the table. It’s becoming embarrassing that we’re relying on media leaks for the base documents, um, this Eurogroup is supposed to make decisions. We generated the document of the 20th of February ourselves, and that’s the only legal document that I have agreed to so far. We had one more, which was the subject of much speculation, and there were legal reasons why it wasn’t circulated, and I appreciate those legal reasons, but the aide-memoire has become a document on which a counter document from Greece has been made. And it has gone on now, seemingly, to become the basis for a negotiating document, uh, which I haven’t seen or which I do [inaudible] on the website [laughter] with another copy in the Financial Times website, uh, where the amendments proposed by the institutions are in red print and the base documents are in black print and there are 96 other amendments. I don’t know whether that means they’re no longer being pressed or whether they’ve been agreed by our finance ministers, who are key to the decision making process. This is no way to do business. And, uh, in the morning, I expect full documents because I’m not prepared to make decisions on narratives, no matter how, uh, succinct and full the narratives are. I need to see the written documents of what we’re agreeing to.

Michael Noonan (00:36:49):

The longer it goes on, the more full the proposal needs to be. We’d probably have got away with another instalment of extend and pretend if we had come to this point a couple of months back. But I think extending and pretending now ’til October or November is not enough, and at least there has to be a mapping out of what the route is forward after that, for Greece. And, uh, whether that’s part of the agreement with that or not, I don’t know. I would also like to have legal opinion in the morning for our meeting, and that the aide-memoire runs legally from its parent, the par- the, the, the statement of the 20th of February.

Michael Noonan (00:37:37):

And the negotiating document runs in a direct leading line from the statement of the 20th of February through the aide-memoire including the counter proposals of Greece down to what’s been presented in the document. I want an opinion on the legal problems of the documents [inaudible 00:37:55]. Sorry I [inaudible] I appreciate how difficult a task we have and we all appreciate we’re conducting the meetings [inaudible] to moving forward but it’s impossible to go any farther without full documentation.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:38:20):

Uh, Johan.

Johan (00:38:21):

Thank you. Uh, a lot that’s already been said has made clear these remarks on uh, process [inaudible 00:38:27]. I fully agree with what, uh, most of the colleagues have been saying about, uh, the sense or not of meeting tomorrow. At whatever hour, it only makes sense when we have full documentation to be able to do something and not just sit around today. In terms of substance, uh, if I have it right, the subject of the [inaudible] solutions is, uh, [inaudible] documents [inaudible 00:38:57]. In my books [inaudible] documents and, uh, [inaudible 00:39:02]. Basically, it seems clear that I see enormous advantage [inaudible] in, ah, [inaudible] and I have, there are two points of confusion [crosstalk 00:39:14]. We all agree our main purpose is to get the Greek economy back on its feet. I don’t exactly see how you can do that by doing something that’s so heavily based on, uh, [inaudible 00:39:27], especially when, uh, with the job description [inaudible 00:39:32] social contributions come from. And secondly, will all due respect to Yanis for what you say, what we have seen in the past is that, uh, exploration clearly is a problem. Uh, and so, when you base your proposals to a large extent on tax increases, my question is, what would come in, given the state of tax [inaudible] [crosstalk foreign language 00:39:57].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:39:56):

Thank you, Johan. [inaudible]

Speaker 16 (00:40:30):

Thank you. I’m just as curious about the process as everybody else. I was not part of, uh, my government when this negotiations [inaudible] in the past. I’m not accustomed to this way of working, but it seems that I would have to [inaudible] but I would follow what Johan said. First, thinking about the substance, where we are [inaudible] I would say scarce information that we got in the past and that we could, uh, collect from the media. Actually I agree, if we give Greece sustainably, uh, be sustainable, such as the economy in the future the, the key growth from these, from those items or the changes that will be made to have increase growth [crosstalk] and the only thing that I see for growth [crosstalk] was the very, um, I would say politically expressed request for [inaudible 00:41:24].

Speaker 16 (00:41:24):

And of course that is not in line with MOU and furthermore we would never be able to [inaudible] on one side [inaudible 00:41:57] situation. So I wonder, and I would like really to know the substance [inaudible] where are this biggest problems in negotiations with Greece, with the three institutions, from a substance point of view. Where are on those differences? And I think the differences are exactly there [inaudible 00:42:24]. I would like to see structural reforms in lending market, in product market, I would like to have, to see, you know, where there would be the support to grow. And, um, measures that were proposed are not alongside this line. So, maybe somebody [inaudible] the biggest difference is between the proposal in government and the requests keeping in line with MOU [inaudible 00:42:58].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:43:02):

Thank you. Um, allow me to pick up on a couple of points that you’ve made. First of all, how the process has evolved over the last weeks. Of course in previous meetings a number of you colleagues have said you refuse to be involved, be involved more, which is a quite right point because of developments followed through the media. If we hadn’t met to discuss. Now we are meeting more often than we would like, to be involved. The difficulty is that there are no final results to present to you. So there is a dilemma here. Um, how has the process evolved? I think Michael described it in quite a good way, how the different documents have been following each other up. Documents which you have not had. This is very unfortunate, but it has to do with our working method. Course it’s extremely unfortunate that the documents are available to the press. It’s really embarrassing.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:44:08):

Looking back, ah, last couple of weeks, uh, three institutions have worked on a common position, and after that agreed to present it for the first time, quite a comprehensive set of proposals, at nine pages. Which was a positive step, as opposed to how we discussed it here. Also we realized that the institutions had not been able to give a more thorough assessment of those proposals to see how close they were to the framework which we agreed. That work has been done over the last couple of days. At the same time, the Greek authorities have presented a list of prior actions. Not only did we, the institutions, come to the assessment that there were still a number of problems in the nine pages, to answer Gutchen, these problems are along the line fiscal gaps, so the Greek authorities said they could agree to the proposed, by the institutions proposed, not agreed by us yet. But by the institutions proposed new fiscal targets and timelines. The authorities have said we could agree to those. But then the methods have to add up to those. So there were fiscal gaps.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:45:30):

Secondly, the analysis of three institutions jointly was that in terms of credible reforms, where does the growth come from? It’s not [inaudible] too much has been reversed, or postponed, not complete enough. It will not lead to enough growth.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:45:52):

Thirdly, the balance in the package that we were discussing, the balance between, ah, tax increase, expenditure cuts, once again growth harming tax increases was too much of a tax hike. So it needs to become more growth friendly, or less growth unfriendly. So these are the main problems that we are [crosstalk] that we are, um, so the nine page proposal from the Greek government was assessed and showed these problems. A list of prior actions then proposed by the Greek government deviate, deviated even more from where we want to end.

Male (00:46:39):


Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:46:40):

In other words, instead of converging, ah, to an agreement which fits in the [inaudible] 20th of February, we were over the last couple of days diverging from it.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:46:51):

That must be the case. Today we have gone through these proposals. Um, we have not been able to close that gap. *I’ve listened* very carefully to you today, and have reaffirmed the statement of the 20th. Absolutely clear that we cannot diverge from it. You have made clear that, uh, the current situation can be no talk of debt restructuring, etcetera. Uh, Wolfgang added there can be no additional money. No fresh money. Very clear. That’s the basis that we must work on in order to propo- to bring to you proposals that are valid. That have a chance of getting your approval. It takes a lot more time than, uh, we would like. It’s getting a lot more media coverage than is helpful. And it is putting a great strain on your agendas, ah, to which I apologize, ah, but this is where we are. Now on the issue of tomorrow, I think there are two options. We can say that we adjourn temporarily this meeting and reopen it tomorrow. We can also say that only on the basis of what is there tomorrow, we will call a new meeting. But some of you would have said that you would also like to be informed, and maybe talk about different scenarios if there is no agreement.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:48:27):

So, we’ve been assigned to the government leaders in the council to try to, try and get that agreement, and then report to them tomorrow. That is still the assignment that we have. I think we should give an ultimate attempt, tonight, all through the night, to try and get the convergence that we need. To land inside the framework of the 20th. That is how I see our task in the coming hours, ultimate attempt to do that. I c- would like to ask you to stay in Brussels and be available so we can continue our work. I think that would be wise more-so as a signal to the outside world that we are still in the process. Uh, but I would need your support. It would have to be a common decision of all of us. Um, ah, I think it was Pierre who said we would need some hours to look at any proposals. We need to prepare, and I think that’s a fair point. So we could set our meeting perhaps later in the morning, so you have that time, under the assumption that over the course of the night we hammer out all the differences that are still there.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:49:56):

I am in this space very strongly involved. I vouch for the institutions, the work that they are doing, jointly. Their analysis of where we are, and the Greek proposals has been the same between the three of them. The adjustments that we need has been delivered by the three institutions together. I think this is very important. I will remain very involved over the coming hours and days. But unfortunately, this is where we are and I think it is inevitable that between now and the summit, which starts tomorrow afternoon at 5:00, to which we have to report, that you remain available, either to take stock, hopefully, of good proposals, concrete papers that you have asked. Michael has made quite clear he needs those papers to come to any decision. Or to take stock the situation if not. Because I think it was [inaudible] he also needs to talk if there is no agreement tomorrow. I think we have to take our responsibility however inconvenient this is.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:51:09):

I will be fully available. You know, the one point on the summit communication, what are we going to communicate afterwards? Uh, because I am afraid of the reaction of the market tomorrow. And, uh, again, uh, the uni- well, the question of credibility while dinner is on the table, I am not going to insist any more to reiterate what I have said. But I think that we should need a line of communication and to try to explain why, two days ago, we were sanguine with respect to the possibility of reaching an agreement and today this possibility has faded away. Or at least, you know, how much hope we should create about the possibility of hammering out an agreement tomorrow. But, you know, I will be fully available.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:52:06):

Thank you for being available. Ah, I think we will come to the line of communication after this round. Pier Carlo?

Pier Carlo Padoan (00:52:15):

On very practical terms, I’m also available, but I suggest that what could be best possibly is that we convene the meeting anyways, very close to the beginning of the meeting at least, so that whatever decision we have to take, we will have anyway time, hopefully, to look at documents introduced during the night.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:52:35):

You can use it [laughter].

Yanis Varoufakis (00:52:48):

I speak on behalf of Spain, right?

Male (00:52:52):

It will be much more comfortable. [laughter]

Speaker 19 (00:52:54):

[crosstalk] agenda I think. I had a problem [inaudible] If we could even, uh, if a meeting [inaudible] a meeting of the heads because if we did it under financial gain-

Speaker 19 (00:53:24):

[inaudible 00:53:18, then German.] Therefore, maybe we should reconvene tomorrow afternoon. Late afternoon.

Speaker 20 (00:53:38):

But not in parallel with it, because that would lead to a very chaotic process. Um, why, because at the start of the summit the Eurozone, the Eurogroup is still meeting, the leaders will be facing a lot of questions even coming into the building, ah, what’s going on. So there needs to be at least a clear process approaching the Eurozone summit. I owe that much to Donald Tusk.We cannot ask him to start a meeting while we are still here, if that is not necessary. So I will try to prevent that. Maria Luís.

Maria Luís Albuquerque (00:54:17):

Thank you, [inaudible 00:54:18]. It just a question which I’m not sure you can answer. What is the absolutely deadline for this process? Is there an absolute deadline?

Yanis Varoufakis (00:54:26):

Three months ago. [laughs]

Maria Luís Albuquerque (00:54:30):

Dates? Where a decision has to be made. Is it the third week of June? Is it before the third week of June? Uh, I need to know.

Male (00:54:33):

For tomorrow we will have an agreement. I think that’s very important [inaudible 00:54:36]. Yanis, it’s very important for all of us [inaudible, interrupted]. I cannot spare but it will has to be. This is very important [inaudible 00:54:41].

Yanis Varoufakis (00:54:43):

Don’t tell me. Put forward eight billion euros of measures.

Male (00:54:47):

That can be answered because the program expires, as you know, at the end of this month.

Maria Luís Albuquerque (00:54:51):


Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:54:51):

And, if there is to be any deal, then ah, ah, a number of our colleagues, including myself, will have to go to national parliaments. That is a procedure which takes a number of days. Um, so working back, there is very little time. Theoretically it could be on the weekends, but it would be very, very difficult to get it done, actually. Ah, as we are all here in the coming days. So, the only thing I do know, the day that it ends, politically, legally, and practically, ah, is the 30th of June. Yanis.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:55:45):

Oh, ah, from the Greek side, as well, we would prefer to have the meeting, to hold the meeting as late in the day as possible, to give us more time to prepare. So I agree with most colleagues who have spoken on this. Ah, allow me to say that, ah, on the question of, ah, growth-friendly policies, since this has been mentioned and this is central to the issue at hand, my government is absolutely committed to them. But let me make the brief point that when you have a shrinking economy and we agree on two and half percent of GDP of extra measures. This is not in itself a particularly growth-friendly ah, posture. The difference of opinion is empirical. It’s not ideological. Do you get greater forces of recession by reducing the pensions of the lowest of the low of pensions, or do you get more recession when you increase tax on corporate tax? This is an empirical issue. This is not a dogmatic issue.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:56:56):

Regarding prior actions and the SLA, of course, you have to have in front of you tomorrow, we all do, very specific text including prior actions. We hove worked on this. We have tabled our own version. Our own proposal and prior actions. It’s a question of coming to an agreement with the institutions on this. On the broader question, let me say colleagues that we feel, just like you do, perhaps more than you do, the pressure to end this conversation successfully to complete the review as quickly as possible. We more than you, for obvious reasons. But let me also add that maybe it is better to have the sequence of, ah, tedious meetings, than to have a situation where we hatch up an agreement which is not sustainable and which leads all of us to come back to this room six months, eight months, nine months, 12 months from now. That would harm the credibility of the institutions and the Eurogroup and each one of us even more.

Yanis Varoufakis (00:58:04):

Finally, Alexander, you asked a question. You asked a question about whether my Prime Minister has an intention of deferring to the leaders, to the summit tomorrow night. Let me assure you that our government is determined to strike an agreement as quickly as possible with the institutions, hopefully tonight, so that our Eurogroup meeting is as profitable as possible. We do not have a strategy of deferring to other fora. We do not have a strategy for delaying. Thank you.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:58:41):

Let me make two points before I turn to Pierre. First of all, the leaders in their meeting were absolutely clear that they will not endorse any outcome if the Eurogroup has not previously agreed to it. So if anyone dreams of getting a deal in the European Council, or in a leaders’ summit, they are mistaken. The only thing the leaders can do, and will do, is send it back to the Eurogroup. I’m just making a start here. Um, Pierre, [inaudible]

Pierre Moscovici (00:59:15):

I just wanted to have a rebound on what you just said to [inaudible 00:59:16]. What you just said [inaudible 00:59:19] on timetable, what we do tonight. There needs to be time to commit, to examine the eventual result, uh, of this negotiation. There needs also to be time for us to deliberate here, and deliver, because, best case scenario, I think the only scenario, is that the leaders enter the meeting on the basis of an agreement that we reach here. So [inaudible] we’ll have to choose what is the right timetable that is a few hours to examine the possible agreement. There is also some time here to find an agreement and to say there is an agreement so that you can go in [inaudible] council with this agreement. [inaudible] do what you have to do. I think that [crosstalk] it wouldn’t be wise to meet too late in tomorrow afternoon.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:00:29):

Colleagues, I think we try to come to a conclusion on, ah, proceeding from here on. My proposal would be that, uh, we [inaudible] from tomorrow afternoon, and that [crosstalk] documents would be available at 11 [crosstalk 01:00:37]. That sets a clear deadline for us, the three partners, to get it done. Allows the teams to work, also to finalize documents. Allows you to somehow to study the documents and then between one and five, we can come to the [inaudible 01:01:15]. Also, means if there is not a positive outcome [inaudible 01:01:21][crosstalk 01:01:36]. Thank you for your patience and I hope we will not fail [crosstalk 01:01:49].[inaudible 01:01:50]

Male (01:01:57):

[inaudible] We need the documents latest at 11. [inaudible] I want the job. [laughter] [crosstalk 01:02:15].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:02:19):

Um, yes, we will make sure that [inaudible] but we will do our, whatever we can to get that agreement and to get the document to you at 11 [inaudible 01:02:42].

Male (01:02:42):

We’re speaking at 1:00, anyway, even if we have no documents. We need to meet at 1:00 to make sure what we’re [crosstalk 01:03:01].

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:03:01):

Thank you, that is exactly what I proposed. We must also have a meeting in case we have no positive outcome. [Inaudible]Having said that, in terms of communication, I think we must try [inaudible] on communications per another point. We have always tried to come to a conclusion at the end of the meeting also about lines of communication. Uh, at the last press conference I worked along those lines. But I have also been a lot of communication in different directions, sometimes even from this meeting while the meeting was still going on, by social media, [inaudible] people work for us, there really, when you talk about volatility, ah, stability needs to be more disciplined in terms of communication. I’m saying this to all of us. The only thing I will report from this meeting that we took [inaudible] to informs about the process. No agreement as yet has been reached. We will continue and that we will reconvene tomorrow at 1:00 to prepare [inaudible 01:04:17]. That is as neutral as I can make it. Not to lead into expectations.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:04:29):

At what point are we going to say, because we will be asked by the media, that we are going to meet again? Tomorrow? Because today we have no reached an agreement. That we are hopeful [inaudible] my question you know because it involves that the journalist will start to ask, “Well, what are the odds? The possibilities of hammering out an agreement?” Ah.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:05:13):

Most of the elements that you mentioned were in the lines that I just proposed. Remains the question [inaudible] would be very unwise at this point. Ah, you might say that we are determined to do our utmost to get a credible agreement. That’s says something about our attitude that we have, which I think we do all have. I wouldn’t go into speculation ’cause I think that would be unwise. Yes. [inaudible]

Male (01:07:10):

Maybe it would be [inaudible] [crosstalk] and we tried to find a solution over the night. [inaudible 01:05:53][crosstalk 01:05:53] new meeting tomorrow, it’s just that all our meetings are negative in the media to show that it is realistic chance to have the conclusion.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:07:10):

[inaudible] that’s actually what I said right at the beginning. That we should not use the word suspend but rather [inaudible]

Yanis Varoufakis (01:07:10):

Might have to get another verb. Let’s say that we adjourn for tomorrow at one.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (01:07:11):

[inaudible] I adjourn the meeting. Thank you all for coming. [inaudible]

Yanis Varoufakis (01:07:11):

Adjourning adjourned. [foreign language 01:07:11] [crosstalk] How did you sleep, huh? [inaudible] used to say, “Like a baby. I woke up at two. I spent the rest of the night crying.” [laughter]

Yanis Varoufakis (01:07:24):

No cries here, no cries

Male (01:07:25):

No cries. [foreign language 01:07:39] Okay, we have established a rapport, I hope. [inaudible] and they, they make it impossible, they make it impossible [inaudible 01:07:57]. How can I go [inaudible 01:07:59][crosstalk 01:08:04] when, when, when, when I have no funding. No money, no, you know, no filing, nothing. What am I going to say to my followers. Let’s do all this terrible stuff. By the way, they’re asking for [inaudible] they’re pushing us for [inaudible 01:08:19]. And then they, they and they, they, this is growth, I’m not interested.

Male (01:08:24):

Not that growth friendly [inaudible] it’s not growth friendly I told him.

Male (01:08:27):

Two, two and a half percent measures [inaudible] for an economy that is [inaudible 01:08:32]. Growth friendly, no credit. No bad bank. No investment. No debt relief. [inaudible] I can’t do that.

Male (01:08:53):

[crosstalk] It’s tonight.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:08:53):

I know.

Male (01:08:53):

We cannot reconvene this meeting [inaudible] won’t stop coming here.

Male (01:09:08):

Be never ending loop.

Male (01:09:11):

So, uh, you must say that to Alexis.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:09:29):

Alexis knows that. Why didn’t he tell Christine that? [inaudible] And I’m being accused of having a girlfriend trying to be back action when we’re being asked in the middle of a, a recession, several year old recession, to have measures two and a half percent, parametric ones. Right? It’s nothing about [inaudible] and they say to us they don’t believe it, so they want parametric measures. So when I increasing tax [inaudible] collectability goes down. My chance of increasing collectability is inversely related to what I’m being asked to do.

Male (01:09:46):

*[inaudible 01:09:50]* It should say that we start with the document of the institutions and concentrate on two or three points.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:10:10):

We can’t do that. You have to [inaudible] the lowest pensioners.[inaudible 01:10:11] when you keep the wage bill the same, means exactly that. Means some wages go up, but some, the lowest, will go down. [crosstalk 01:10:21].

Male (01:10:43):

[foreign language 01:10:43][crosstalk 01:11:06].

Christine Lagarde (01:10:43):

What we’re planning should be rest to resume at 11pm.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:10:43):

I know.

Christine Lagarde (01:11:30):

the plan is much better in my view, and in the view of a few others. You have more time

Yanis Varoufakis (01:11:34):

We have all the time. We’re here, we’re available.

Christine Lagarde (01:11:38):

That is true. And [crosstalk] six a.m. Yeah, everybody’s available. So there’s some people about to get just a few hours sleep.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:11:44):

So you think we should get here at six in the morning?

Christine Lagarde (01:11:44):

That would be-

Yanis Varoufakis (01:11:47):

[inaudible 01:11:47].

Christine Lagarde (01:11:49):

Ah, yeah. If that’s okay with you, Prime Minister. ’cause that means it’s going to be nonsense. The technical work is going to get done, and we’re not going to spend-

Yanis Varoufakis (01:11:56):

So we start at six.

Christine Lagarde (01:11:57):

You know we’re going to go in circles. I just-

Yanis Varoufakis (01:11:59):

I’m happy with whatever you want [crosstalk 01:12:00].

Christine Lagarde (01:12:00):

I just went outside the meeting to alert you. It will be confirmed by Jeroen. I’m not the boss in this meeting. I just wanted to warn you.

Yanis Varoufakis (01:12:08):


Christine Lagarde (01:12:10):

I’m sure he will get in touch. He will do his own thing but I wanted to alert you [crosstalk 01:12:14].

Yanis Varoufakis (01:12:18):

Okay. [crosstalk] [foreign language 01:12:29].

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