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Eurogroup postponed until Monday

Eurogroup postponed until Monday

The Eurogroup, which was initially scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed. Instead there will be a teleconference...

The Eurogroup, which was initially scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed. Instead there will be a teleconference of the Eurozone’s finance ministers taking place. The “face to face” meeting between the ministers of Finance is due to take place on Monday, February 20th.

In a written statement of the Eurogroup president Jean Claude Juncker, he stresses that not all of the conditions that the Europeans are asking of Greece have been fulfilled, stating that the Europeans “have not received the assurances sought from political leaders” and added that “further work between Greece and the Troika is pending on technical issues”.

In fact, the statement reads: “even though there has been considerable progress after the passing of the bill in parliament, the EWG showed that there are further technical discussions needed between Greece and the Troika on specific areas such as the gap of 325 million and the analysis of debt sustainability”.

Also Mr. Juncker stated: “I have not yet received the necessary commitments from Papandreou and Samaras on the program’s implementation. Having taken all of this into consideration, I have decided to call for a teleconference tomorrow in order to discuss the outstanding issues and make the preparations for the regular Eurogroup on Monday, February 20th”.

In any case, the situation had turned into a thriller since early on, as our partners do not seem to be convinced about the… ability or dedication of the Greeks in relation to the immediate implementation of their commitments, as reflected in the new package of reform measures which was passed by the House on Sunday.

The Eurogroup’s postponement had been hinted at by Chantal Hughes, the EC’s representative who, when asked about it, said that the postponement was limited by just stating that: “The EC is awaiting concrete measures from Greece”!

She was obviously implying that the recovery of the 325 million “missing” from the cuts is a “thorn” in the EC’s side.

Earlier on Olli Rehn, Finance Commissioner, left the possibility of not making an immediate decision open. He characteristically stated that “a decision on the second rescue package for Greece will be made… soon”.

At the same time, Mr. Rehn expressed his understanding of the grief and turmoil in Greece, but stressed that the Greek political leaders must make guarantees on the new program. “We should be close to a decision soon”
Anyway, during the last few hours the Germans and their… “satellite” partners have been insisting on asking for new and harsher measures as a punishment against Greece for not complying with EU data, but also to turn the country into an “example” for the rest of the countries with a memorandum.

In fact, they did not  hesitate to use implicit or explicit “warnings” about our country’s exit from the Eurozone if the new commitments to the partners are not adhered to.

Since Monday morning the German Finance ministry’s representative had made it clear that Berlin should not “hurry” to release the money for Greece.

Wolfgang Schauble had indirectly warned: “We are pleased to help Greeks but we should not make third parties feel that they are not trying. Everyone is responsible for one's self”.

American broadcast network CNBC stated that “the sacrifices made by the Greeks will finally force European leaders to support the country”.

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