Greek Meeting with Creditors, Finance Ministers Ends with No Deal
- Greek official claims government will not accept proposals submitted today; talks stalled
- Eurozone Finance Ministers meeting begins and ends in a little over an hour
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to meet EU President Jean-Claude Juncker later tonight
Upon leaving the day’s first meeting a Greek official asserted counter-proposals will not be accepted today but added the negotiations will continue at all levels. Both meetings, the first with creditors and second with Eurozone finance ministers ended without a deal. The talks will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 GMT under similar circumstances.
Greece government officials were under immense pressure to secure a deal with its creditors today. The day started with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in Brussels to conduct a meeting with lenders and continued with the finance ministers of the Eurogroup; an 11th hour attempt to unfreeze bailout funds to pay the bundled International Monetary Fund loan due June 30th.
The creditors saw the reformed Greek proposals, as Ireland Finance Minister Michael Noonan put it, “a basis for negotiation”. The European Central Bank, IMF, and Eurozone (collectively known as The Institutions) submitted a counter proposal to which Tsipras rejected claiming, “Either they don’t want an agreement or they are serving specific interests.” The negotiations between Greece and The Institutions lasted seven hours weighing on optimism that a solution can be found in time.
The Institutions and Greece are at odds on a few categories. Greece plans to increase corporate taxes to 29% to which the creditors cap tax at 28%. Creditors insist on 1% gross domestic product revenue whereas the Greek government proposes 0.74%. The Greek government offers to increase revenue by raising social security contributions and limiting early retirement while the IMF wants more emphasis on spending cuts. On top of the differences, creditors want Greece to adopt legislation which will offset the effects on previous pension cuts.
Prior to the Eurozone’s finance ministers meeting many leaders entered with a skeptical outlook on what the meeting could produce. German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, said he was “Not optimistic that we have an agreement tonight. Work just starts now.” Finland Finance Minister Alex Stubb added, “I would be very positively surprised if there was a deal tonight.” Stubb later confirmed within an hour, the Eurozone meeting has ended and will continue tomorrow.
Though a deal could not be achieved, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with EU President Jean-Claude Juncker to continue negotiations at 22:00 GMT. The meeting will serve as a precursor to tomorrow’s second Eurozone finance ministers meeting at 11:00GMT. As the June 30th IMF deadline closes in, the risks of a liquidity or market confidence fallout will increasingly overtake simple political risk.
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