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Awaiting the "Athens agreement"…

Awaiting the "Athens agreement"…

The European leaders await the agreement between the political leaders who support our government...

The European leaders await the agreement between the political leaders who support our government, and an announcement on the infamous "new memorandum" and the PSI, in order to organize their next moves.

Everything has been moving fast in the last few hours but nothing seems to be finalized. And it is this delay in reaching an agreement that is leading to a domino of postponements, sccenarios, and expectations in Brussels, Paris and Berlin. 

The Eurogroup meeting for Greece, originally scheduled for Monday, has been moved. Reportedly, the Eurozone finance ministers will meet to discuss the "Greek problem" on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest, while even an earlier teleconference is not excluded,  something that was also mentioned by a representative of commissioner Olli Rehn: "The finance ministers will act immediately, even by teleconference, when all necessary information is clarified and there is something to discuss." 

What deserves special mention and reflects the seriousness of the situation is the meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, where they will formally discuss the progress in the processes of budgetary convergence in the Eurozone. 

The news is that the two leaders will be accompanied by several ministers, who will hold separate meetings; with analysts observing that now the problem of the Eurozone is the day after Greece; with Mario Monti stating on Friday that the European economy finally needs the "safety" of a Eurobond and with markets betting on not whether, but when Portugal will seek either a new memorandum or a Greek-style PSI, or even both… 

At the moment, Europeans actually have to solve a puzzle: Greece may in fact blow up the Franco-German plans for a "tighter" Eurozone, it can cause anything from creaks to dominoes for the euro-structure and obviously can be the most powerful slap in the face for the personal political career of Sarkozy and Merkel. 

The initial move of postponing the Eurogroup for Greece, where the European Finance ministers would see the notorious "pre-memorandum" between the Greek government and its creditors, aims to gain a little more time so that Athens can reach a certain solution. 

The German side still has an open front with its fierce disagreement with the IMF on the issue of Greece’s financing. It is telling that according to a report of the U.S. Wall Street Journal on Friday, one of the reasons that delay the final agreement between Greece and the IIF is the battle between the IMF and Germany, the gap between Berlin and Washington about the level of the haircut and the amount of additional funding that Greece might eventually need. 

The IMF argues that in order for the overall impairment of the Greek debt to reach the expected 120% of the GDP by 2020, it will require the involvement of official creditors in the haircut beyond that of individuals. This means that the bonds controlled by the ECB and several governments of member-states of the EU will have to be added to the bond exchange program as well. This is what has passed for the last two days in the international news as the OSI, that is the «official sector involvement» in parallel with the PSI, which is the involvement of the private sector. 

But Germany still disagrees with this. Nevertheless, the downturn and the tight deadlines that are in place for the completion of a new agreement to support Greece may change the data once again. March 20 and the need for repayment of the mega-bond of 14.4 billion euros is now the key date. 

Probably not only for Greece…

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