Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Greece’s Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal

by Paul Mason

Channel 4

May 21, 2015

The leaked IMF document seen by Channel 4 News last weekend effectively signals a three-week endgame in the Greek debt stand-off.

The IMF thinks there is “no possibility” that Greece can meet €11bn worth of debt repayments due between June and the end of August. The Greek government is running out of cash.

Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister, told Channel 4 News last night (see video below) that faced with the choice of paying €350m due on 5 June to the IMF on 5 June, or paying pensions and salaries, he would choose the latter.

Privately, those within the ruling far-left party Syriza who were once confident of reaching a compromise with lenders, are now alarmed. Euro exit plans drawn up by the far left of the party are being studied seriously by those previously dismissive of them; articles contemplating a debt default have begun to appear in the party’s daily paper Avgi.

In the script according to the eurozone, the expected ending is: Syriza splits; finance minister Varoufakis makes good his pledge not to sign a surrender and resigns. A government of the centre-left forms, with Alexis Tsipras now allied to the centrist Potami party and with tacit support from a liberal wing of the New Democracy party. Debt relief happens, but on the terms dictated by the lenders, and Syriza survives to complete its mutation into a centre-left social democratic party.


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