Sunday, March 29, 2015

Greeks Need Their Leader to Be Tough

by Hugo Dixon

New York Times

March 29, 2015

Does Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece, have the guts to break with his far-left faction? The country’s fate hangs on the answer.

Greece’s immediate prospects are dicey. It will default in mid-April unless its eurozone creditors lend it more money or it scrapes together cash from other sources.

The central short-term issue is whether the reform proposals that Athens plans to submit to creditors on Monday will be enough to unlock some credit.

The government sent negotiators to Brussels over the weekend to hash out the package after another week during which the technical teams on the ground in Athens achieved little. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister, mused publicly about the possibility of a “rupture.” The implication was that Athens would default if it were not able to secure an acceptable deal with its creditors.

Such a rupture could happen as early as April 9, when Greece has to repay money it owes the International Monetary Fund. If Athens defaults then, capital controls would presumably be imposed at the same time, coinciding with the four-day Greek Easter holiday, which starts on April 10.


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