Athens, July 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
To submit clear proposals to its lenders called Greece the finance ministers of France Michel Sapin and Germany Wolfgang Schaeuble, a day after the sweeping “no” said of the Greek people in a referendum.
During a press conference on Monday in Poland, in the meeting with his Polish counterpart, Sapin and Schaeuble stressed the need the Greek government to table concrete proposals on Tuesday, in order to reach an agreement.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Summit and the new critical Eurogroup for Greece, the French Finance Minister stressed that the EU’s response to the Greek crisis should be aimed at strengthening the eurozone. Sapin even said that the “right answer” to address the crisis would be more cooperation at European level.
On his part, the German FinMin said that Berlin respects the view of the Greek citizens, while when invited to comment on the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, he merely said that he never had personal problems with the outgoing Greek finance minister, he merely had “views on which we disagreed”.
“His successor who will not find it easy to reach a solution with his colleagues in the Eurogroup on the difficult problems of the country”, Schaeuble added.
“Aid for Greece only with a third Memorandum”
Earlier on Monday, the representative of the German Finance Ministry, Martin Geiger, commented that “the basis for any agreement is the Treaty of the ESM», stressing that only on this basis is it possible to help Greece.
Greece is asked, essentially, to agree to a third MoU with its lenders, regardless of whether yesterday’s ‘no’ vote led many to believe the intransigent attitude of creditors can be bent.
Geiger actually recalled that Berlin does not consider that the letter of June 30 to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to be in effect.
“We are not in an environment that can be interpreted freely. The Treaty clearly states that any aid is connected with inducements. To deviate from this principle, it is not legally possible”, Geiger noted and, referring to the letter of June 30, explained: “We are compelled to conclude that such a request does not exist. At least, not one that satisfies the formal requirements of the Treaty of ESM”.
Responding to the questions on the IMF’s role in the rescue programs and its position on the need of the Greek debt haircut, Geiger said that the IMF’s role is to control the financial needs of the country and to make conclusions on the sustainability of the debt.
“There are two possibilities. One is the debt haircut, which is the classic tool of the IMF, so it’s not surprising that the IMF refers to it. In Europe, however, we chose, in consultation, the other way, through aid programs and reforms, to create the environment and the basis which will enable debt sustainability. And this road has worked well, except for Greece. There is no reason to leave this general philosophy, and with this we will go to the talks. It is up to the Greek government. The Greek government has put into question, with the conduct of the referendum, this basis of hitherto cooperation within aid programs. We need to discuss on what basis can we even continue to discuss”, said the spokesman of Wolfgang Schaeuble.
Chancellery: The door remains open
However, the representative of the German Chancellery, Stephan Saimbert stressed that the door for Greece remains open and that Germany awaits proposals from the Greek side.
The spokesman, expressing the first reaction of the German government, also said that the conditions with Athens have not yet been fulfilled: “There is still a basis for new negotiations”.
The haircut of the debt is not on the agenda of discussions for us, Saimbert stressed: “There is no reason for debt restructuring”.
Asked about the resignation of Varoufakis he said that “the positions and no the people are more important for Germany”.