Another week came and went with no breakthrough in negotiations between Greece and its creditors. The IMF is now fed up and has reportedly refused to be a part of any new bailout program for Greece, after Athens drew down its SDR reserves to makes its latest payment to the Fund. That money will now need to be repaid and in a move that surely marks the new gold standard for absurd circular funding schemes, Greece will likely look to use the next tranche of IMF money to payback its IMF SDR reserve which it tapped to pay the IMF. The country’s public sector employees live in limbo, not knowing from one week to the next whether they will be paid and commuters are now subjected to a 50 second looped highlight reel of the Nazi occupation meant to rally the country behind the government’s quarter trillion euro war reparations claim (they might as well just ask for a ‘gagillion’) on Germany which has now become the symbol of tyranny and debt servitude for many Greek citizens.
Given the situation, one would be inclined to think that Alexis Tsipras would be falling all over himself to cut a deal with creditors because while giving up on campaign promises to voters isn’t ideal, it’s better than going down in history as the PM who sent the country careening into a drachma death spiral, and besides, giving up on campaign promises is something most politicians do all the time (it’s a job requirement for the US presidency). Alas we were back to the now ubiquitous ‘red line’ rhetoric on Friday as Tsipras continued to employ the “tell EU officials one thing behind close doors and tell the public the exact opposite a day later” negotiating technique. Here’s more from Bloomberg:
Greece won’t cross its red lines in negotiations with international creditors just because time is pressing to close a deal, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.
“Those who think that our red lines will fade as time goes on would do well to forget it,” Tsipras said at a conference in Athens late Friday. “I want to assure the Greek people that there’s no way the government will back down on the issue of pension and wage cuts,” he said. “A deal must be reached but it must be mutually beneficial.”
Europe is once again set to take the stalled negotiations down to the wire as it now appears the next serious round of talks will come in Riga (the site of an epic Varoufakis meltdown that saw the FinMin tweeting out melodramatic FDR quotes after he was forced to have dinner by himself while his EU counterparts attended a gala) when Tsipras will try to close a deal by the end of the month.
….and at the end of the day, here is the reality (via Bloomberg)…
“Greece won’t be able to make IMF repayments, beginning with a June 5 payment, unless an agreement is reached with international partners, U.K.’s Channel 4 reports, citing a leaked IMF memo dated May 14.”
Full article: Greece Will Default On June 5 Without Deal, IMF Leaks (Zero Hedge)