Athens, February 19, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Euroworking Group on Thursday at 16:00 – Extraordinary Eurogroup on Friday
Greek PM appears optimistic
Greece has sent a message for a 6-month extension, which is expected to be examined at 4:00 pm in the Euroworking Group in the presence of the representative of Greece in the Euroworking Group Giorgos Chouliarakis.
The President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem acknowledged receiving the greek request, on his personal account on twitter.
Throughout the night yesterday there were constant consultations between the Greek Finance Minister Gianis Varoufakis and President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in which they examined word-word the text of the greek request.
According to information they have agreed by 95%. In addition, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a telephone conversation with French President François Hollande, the Prime Minister of Italy M. Renzi and Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
Eventually it was decided to convene the Eurogroup Friday at 16:00 and for this reason the Greek Minister of Finance will “fly” to Brussels on Thursday.
Moreover, on Thursday afternoon there will be a meeting between the president of the Bank of Greece G. Stournaras and deputy Prime Minister G. Dragasakis.
After the meeting, the reports indicate that the two men will make joint statements.
The request has been sent
As it became known from a government source, Athens requested an extension of the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement, as is the officially title of the financial aid agreement with the eurozone.
However, the conditions that will provide for such an extension will differ from the requirements of the country in the context of the current economic program.
“The consultations with partners show signs of convergence”, said the Greek FinMin coming out of the House after the end of the vote to elect a new President of the Republic..
He appeared optimistic that “the extension request to be tabled will be written in a way that satisfies both the Greek side and the President of the Eurogroup”.
Varoufakis, speaking to the newspaper “To Vima”, also explained that Friday will be held the Eurogroup by teleconference, adding that the specific text requested an extension until August, without including recession creating, as he called them, measures.
The Eurogroup on Friday, will be just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Greece, he added.
With a non paper the Greek government states regarding the request
“1.The new Greek government, through Finance Minister. G. Varoufakis, filed an application for a 6-month extension of the loan agreement, in order to provide protection umbrella in the financial system. The government, faithful to its commitments, did not request an extension of the Memorandum. We tabled a proposal that respects the popular verdict, upholds the dignity of society and at the same time can be accepted by our partners.
2.The request raises the question of the restoration of the social costs caused by the crisis, as well as addressing the very important social implications.
3.The request signals the government’s desire to move into a six-month interim agreement (“Agreement – bridge”) in which is committed to a fiscal balance. Simultaneously, however, it proceeds directly to reforms in tax evasion and corruption, while there will be immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis and to restart the economy.
4.The 6-month extension allows the government to provide a “breath” to society and the time necessary to engage in negotiations with partners, without blackmail and time deficit, in order to agree on a new contract for the recovery and growth in Europe for the period 2015-2019. The new social contract of government will include agreement on impairment of debt, as predicted by the decision of the Eurogroup of 2012″.
Statements of European officials to international agencies
Officials from Brussels have made statements to international agencies stating that:
– Greece and creditors are still somewhat apart.
– The Request does not include a commitment to the primary surplus of 2015.
– More information are needed.
The extension proposes, always according to a European official, “Proceed Jointly to Successful Conclusion of Present Arrangements”.