25 June – Eurogroup in Brussels – Part 2

Jeroen Dijsselbloem returns from the break with a non-answer.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:14):

My colleagues, thanks for your, your patience. We are in a very difficult situation in which the stakes are high… risks are high for all of us, yet we have not come to agreement. The papers, presented by the institutions, are not proposals, so I cannot ask your, will, not ask you, to take formal position there, or on those papers. Papers that will only be relevant if there is an agreement. Um, having said that, um, after sending the papers to you for information purposes, new proposals by the Greek authorities came in.

The, um, institutions that… we’ve just talked about this, uh, are prepared, uh, to look at that as quickly as possible to analyze it, to see if there are, um, let’s say useful proposals in, in that paper… Uh, useful in the sense that it makes the, the text that, uh, the commit- the institutions will be working on more credible, strengthens, uh, the text in terms of, uh, fiscal targets, in terms of reforms, etc. If that’s the case, of course, then those proposals are very welcome and will be used. Um, my proposal, or our proposal will be that, um, the institutions report to you on the outcome of their assessments of those last three proposals, uh, through the, uh, through the, your deputies in the euro working group.

So I don’t expect you to wait or reconvene, or stay in Brussels, uh, you will be reported back, uh, on the outcome that last, uh, assessment, uh, through the euro working group. Secondly, um, I think the, um, the door, uh, is still open for proposals that strengthen package, or, uh, simply a positive reaction from the Greek side on what’s on the table now. Having said that, I’m fully aware that you, the ministers, have not said yes to what’s on the table now. And because I can only ask you for your formal opinion once there is an agreement. So, as always, the step will have to be the institutions and the Greek side come to an agreement, this is still possible, uh, in the coming hours, coming day, um, and then we’ll come back to you to ask, uh, your formal opinion on what then is on the table.

We will then, also, uh, have to go into how we decide the financing questions, and when and under what conditions we are prepared to come back to the issue of debt sustainability. Um, what you have found in the papers are, uh, let’s say the opinion in the assessment of the institutions, but that is not, per se, what we can politically commit to, so… We will only come back to those questions if there is an agreement for us, between the institutions and the Greek authorities. That is the normal procedure and that’s the way I want to do it. Um, having said that, I think, um, in the weekend, we must be available for another eurogroup in either scenario. It could also be a scenario that there is no agreement, and then we must also, and I will say this without knowing exactly when and where, but possibly, on Saturday morning to have a euro group.

To either, uh, to take stock of an agreement if there is an agreement by then, between the institutions and the Greek authorities, or talk about what needs to be done, uh, in the alternative scenario. Um, the institutions have prepared, of course, the alternative scenario, there are different aspects there… the situation in Greece, uh, our involvement and the help that we can give there. Uh, the situation in some of our countries: ringfencing, financial sector, financial markets to consider. Uh, and thirdly, the message that we give of politically how committed we are to the monetary union, and how we will strengthen it, uh, to, uh, to prove our commitment.

That is also on the table right now, in the leader’s meeting, uh, where they are discussing the Five Presidents’ report. Uh, but if, uh, necessary, my proposal will be to go into those… three main topics in the alternative scenario in, uh, if necessary, an extra eurogroup, possibly on Saturday morning. I’m a little careful because I still have to report, that will also be my final point, I need to report to our government leaders and heads of state on where we are. I will report that, um, the Eurogroup has not taken any decisions, simply because there is no agreement that was put to us.

We were informed by the institutions on what the possible solution could be. The Greek authorities have not agreed to it, and if they do agree to it then there are a number of political questions which still have to addressed in the Eurogroup. So, yeah, basically, um, so there are two different phases to go through, First, get an agreement between the institutions and the Greek authorities; secondly then, to get an agreement through here, in the Eurogroup, that is not a given in advance, I’m well aware of that. Um, of course, I can’t prejudge how our leaders will respond or whether they will task us to do more or try alternatives, or come to a decision, I don’t know that… until we will take, uh, that in our stride.

That’s, I think, how we should move forward, so, uh, quickly summing up, the institutions will look at the latest Greek proposals and they [inaudible] will inform you through your working group. Secondly, the door remains open. Thirdly, I will report to the leaders that there is no agreement, uh, no formal position by the eurogroup at this point both on the issue of the package, uh, whether it is acceptable to the Greeks and strong enough for the euro group, and the question of financing Greece short-term or long-term.

Uh, thirdly, we are ready to have a euroworking group, possibly on Saturday morning. And then, the issue will be either an agreement… if then reached between the institutions and the Greeks, or we will consider alternative scenarios on the base of the preparation by the European institutions.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible].Jeroen Dijsselb

That will be my proposal for the coming hours, and days. [inaudible 00:07:46] and all the actions that I will [inaudible]pursue? That is, with your approval, thank you very much.

Yanis Varoufakis (08:02):

They had to wait for half an hour for this verdict?

Speaker 4:


Yanis Varoufakis (08:05):

They had to wait for half an hour for this verdict? They could have given it before.

The audio files are the original and thus more reliable source. The transcriptions accompanying the audio files are there for your convenience; cross checking is recommended before using. We welcome any improvements on what was the best that professional transcribers could produce given the tight deadlines and audio conditions.

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