European leaders gave Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a straightforward choice: ditch his principles or quit the euro.
Tsipras was presented with a laundry list of unfinished business from Greece’s previous bailouts at an emergency summit that stretched in its 14th hour by 5:59 a.m. Monday in Brussels. Euro-area chiefs gave Tsipras three days to enact their main demands to keep alive chances of adding bailout funds of as much as 86 billion euros ($96 billion) to earlier commitments of 240 billion euros.
With Greece running out of money and its banks shut the past two weeks, the gathering was billed as the country’s last chance to stay in the euro. Tsipras, who says he wants to keep Greece in the currency union, has been in financial limbo since his government missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund and allowed its second rescue package to lapse on June 30.
“The situation is extremely difficult if you consider the economic situation in Greece and the worsening in the last few months, but what has been lost also in terms of trust and reliability,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.
An official in Brussels said the document was very bad for Tsipras and the Greek people. “They want to wreck us,” Defense Minister Panos Kammenos posted on Twitter. “Enough is enough.”
“This Eurogroup list of demands is madness,” Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wrote on his blog. “It’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for.”
In addition to requirements to cut pensions and raise sales taxes, measures that Tsipras accepted last week, the memo demanded that creditor representatives return to Athens with full access to ministers and a veto over relevant legislation.
Euro-area leaders also want Tsipras to transfer as much as 50 billion euros of state assets to a Luxembourg-based company for sale and make him fire workers he hired in defiance of previous bailout commitments.
Full article: EU Demands Complete Capitulation From Tsipras (BloombergBusiness)