Monday, February 16, 2015
A Flawed Plan B for Greece
Wall Street Journal
February 15, 2015
It is a mark of the gulf that still separates Greece and the rest of the eurozone that an agreement last week simply to engage in “technical discussions” was hailed as a step forward in the search for a solution to the country’s debt crisis.
It was certainly a climb-down by the new Greek government, which had previously ruled out any negotiations with its “troika” of international lenders. And it followed previous climb-downs: Athens is now asking for debt restructuring rather than write-downs, and it now says it will abide by 70% of the reforms required under its current bailout program.
But talking signifies nothing. Even this latest step was only possible on the basis of a fudge after an initial attempt by eurozone finance ministers to start talks fell apart. The eurozone insists the purpose of the discussions is to assess the Greek government’s plans with a view to extending the existing bailout plan, thereby securing Athens the financial breathing space to negotiate a new long-term deal. Athens says the purpose of the discussions is to prepare the way for an entirely new program, an extension of the old one being out of the question.
Posted by Yulie Foka-Kavalieraki at 8:14 AM