On 17th May, following their verbal agreement with the IMF’s Poul Thomson to reduce the number of VAT bands to two while also reducing the VAT rates substantially, Varoufakis submitted a detailed VAT proposal to the troika (below). This was refined, simplified and costed a few days later. Download the refined version as Excel VAT […] Read more
Discussion over progress and agreeing on a communiqué.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem: Let me try to, I won’t do much to this statement. Let me try once. What if I were to say, we therefore welcome the intention of the Greek authorities to accelerate their work with the institutions. By putting that way you are saying that it is your intention to put in the extra effort… It does not sound as if someone is criticising you. You are saying that we shall do what it takes.
Yanis Varoufakis: You are tempting me to say that I would like the institutions to say they same thing. But I won’t say that, because I want to be helpful. We shall accept this even though we state for the record that there are two sides and thus both must accelerate their efforts and rate of concession.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem: I am sure everyone is ready to continues putting in the work…
The Eurogroup today took stock of the state of play with the ongoing negotiations between the Greek authorities and the institutions. We welcomed the progress that has been achieved so far. We note that the re-organisation and streamlining of working procedures has made an acceleration possible and has contributed to a more substantial discussion. At the same time, we acknowledged that more time and effort are needed to bridge the gaps on the remaining open issues. We therefore welcome the intention of the Greek authorities to accelerate their work with the institutions, with a view to achieving a successful conclusion of the review in a timely fashion. The Eurogroup reiterated that its statement of 20 February remains the valid framework for the discussions. Once the institutions reach an agreement at staff level on the conclusion of the current review, the Eurogroup will decide on the possible disbursements of the funds outstanding under the current arrangement.
Speaker 1 (00:00): … closely and they’re supposed to conclude the package by June. On the statistics, let me draw your attention to the commitment to a man you know modified dependence of endemic statistics Institute as a start. A draft decision is now being discussed, involvement of experts from Eurostat. Uh, so there are […] Read more
In the 24th April Eurogroup, the European Commission process was overthrown and the hawks re-asserted themselves, demanding the troika’s return to Athens in order to end the ‘inefficiency’ of the Brussels Group. At the same time, a character assassination campaign kicked into gear against Varoufakis, claiming that during this Eurogroup the finance ministers had called him ‘irresponsible’ and accused him of being a ‘time-waster’, a ‘gambler’ and an ‘amateur’. Fake news...
Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:01:54): Uh, Pierre, [inaudible], welcome. Thank you for joining us. Um, the next item on the agenda is the,uh, situation in Greece. Uh, as you all vividly remember on the 20th of February and on the 24th of February, we agreed on, um, the starting point of the process and how the process […] Read more
Nicholas Theocarakis offers analysis of auctions and repossessions, of the need for collective bargaining – ILO best practices – but the level of total dismantling of workers’ rights by the previous government is unprecedented in Europe – 1/3 of working Greeks are undeclared labour, with terrible effects on pension funds – more not less labour market regulation is needed. The institutions refuse to discuss economic substance and any talk of debt restructuring. Greece signals potential default as it’s running out of funds to cover both the repayments to the IMF and the pension and civil service salary bills.
Thomas Wieser (00:00:02): Also uh have a discussion on the HFSF buffer and uh, we noted and know and knew uh, that uh, uh, that we hope industrious work streams ongoing both in Athens and in Brussels, as there is this tale of two cities where meetings uh, have to take place in different compositions […] Read more
Toward the end of February, Pierre Moscovici and Yanis had forged an agreement regarding process. The troika middle managers would no longer arrive in Athens, enter ministries and impose policies on ministers. All political negotiations would take place in Brussels (the term “Brussels Group” was coined for this purpose) and only troika technicians would go to Athens to consult with their counterparts in the ministries. However, soon after their arrival in Athens, the troika representatives demanded a return to business as usual – access to ministers so that they could harass with them directly. That this was decided further up became clear at the 17th March EWG meeting.
Marco Buti (00:01): … coming in the next eh, in the next days and erm even if erm the Greek authorities manage to overcome erm the erm, the erm [inaudible 00:00:14] of the next couple of days, the situation would become… let’s say erm, pretty critical in early erm… in early April. So I think […] Read more
Between the 24 February Eurogroup and the 24 April Eurogroup, the Greek Ministry of Finance submitted the following detailed documents: March 15: Greek MoF Position Paper regarding current negotiation fiscal plans, structural reforms and the post-June period. Submission to the EG and EWG March 15: Greek MoF Reform Proposals in the context of the 20 […] Read more
The 20 February Eurogroup meeting had ended a chicken game with a compromise: Greece would extend the previous loan agreement by four months (to give negotiations a chance). The institutions would allow Greece to replace the existing MoU with a list of reforms proposed by its government.
Read the Greek reform list under discussion Jeroen Dijsselbloem (00:00): … of your responses or questions. And can I first, first ask the Commission, [inaudible] or Pierre, to uh, give their headlines. Speaker 2 (00:10): Uh, yes, uh, thank you, Jeroen. Well, uh, commission, uh, has, uh, carefully reviewed the reformed proposal sent yesterday to […] Read more
Junker-Moscovici draft: 15 Feb – close of business Today, the Eurogroup took stock of the current situation in Greece, based on intensive dialogue between the new Greek authorities and the Institutions. The Greek authorities have expressed their commitment to a broader, socially just and stronger reform process aimed at durably improving growth prospects. In particular, […] Read more
Mr President, (Jeroen Dijsselbloem) Dear Colleagues, It is a great honour for me to join this Eurogroup meeting as finance minister in the newly elected Greek government. On January 25th, the Greek people strongly mandated us to terminate the cycle of austerity that has caused economic damage and immense social costs. The new government led […] Read more