Troika Returns To A Conquered Greece Amid Anger, Security Threats

“The letter has been sent,” a Greek government official told MNI on Friday, referring to a formal (if begrudging) invite from Athens delivered to the IMF and the rest of the dreaded troika.

The trio – comprised of the IMF, the ECB, and the European Commission – was famously booted from Greece in late January by a rambunctious Yanis Varoufakis who proclaimed that Syriza, which had just swept to power on an anti-austerity platform, didn’t “plan to cooperate with that committee.” 

Six months later and “that committee” has turned out to be quite a bit more resolute in its demands that Varoufakis (or perhaps anyone else for that matter) anticipated, as Syriza’s meteoric rise effectively sowed the seeds for its own destruction by emboldening like-minded parties across the periphery, effectively forcing the troika to harden its stance or risk a veritable rebellion against the EMU-wide push for fiscal discipline.

Now, a day after the Greek parliament legislated away its last shred of dignity (and sovereignty) by passing a second set of prior actions, the stage is set for the troika to return to Athens. Here’s Bloomberg with more:

Six months after former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave them the boot, Greece’s three main official creditors are sending representatives back to Athens within days, the European Commission said Friday. Their acceptance draws a line under the antagonism the Syriza government displayed in the afterglow of its election victory as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recognizes the pain required to save his country from economic calamity.

The troika’s presence in the Greek capital has often been met with throngs of angry protesters lamenting years of austerity that saw the economy contract by a quarter and unemployment soar to the highest in the European Union.

The European team works out of a bullet-proof office with double security doors outside the center of Athens where there are no EU flags or insignia to attract attention. The former head of the commission’s team in Athens was guarded by an armed, plain-clothes policeman.

Last year, a bomb exploded outside the IMF offices.

Bullet-proof offices, security details, and bombs tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the reception creditors’ technical teams are likely to receive upon their triumphant return to what is now effectively a conquered nation and it also helps to explain what exactly officials mean when they say that the start of formal negotiations has been delayed due to “logistical issues.” From Reuters:

“There are some logistical issues to solve, notably security-wise,” a European Commission official said. “Several options are on the table,” the official said, without giving more details.

So essentially, the troika are still trying to decide on a suitable safe house.

Ultimately, Greece will need to wrap up negotiations by August 20, when another payment to the ECB comes due.

Full article: Troika Returns To A Conquered Greece Amid Anger, Security Threats (Zero Hedge)

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