The creditors insist the austerity measures in the original agreement be agreed to and implemented.
Tsipras spoke by telephone with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel as well as French President Francois Hollande on Sunday evening. All agreed on the need for a quick agreement.Leftist members of Syriza were incensed when Varoufakis appointed Greek-American economist Elena Panaritis as Greece's representative for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Panaritis had earlier represented the pro-bailout Pasok party as an honorary MP.
Some 43 Syriza members including deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis signed a petition opposing the appointment. In spite of the cash crunch Greece faces , the Economy Minister George Stathakis said that Greece had internal resources that would allow it to make a 305 million euro payment to the IMF on June 5. Nevertheless, it is becoming more and more difficult for Greece to meet debt payments without more cash making a quick agreement a necessity. At the same time many in Syriza want the party to adopt a Plan B that would develop strategies for the way forward, or perhaps "outward", should the government fail to reach a deal acceptable to the party.
Reza Moghadan, former head of the IMF European department wrote recently in the Financial Times: “Europe is demanding implementation, in the next few weeks, of a long and comprehensive list of actions that previous governments were unable to deliver in the space of a few years.”
These impossible demands make sense if the aim is for eventual "regime change". However, it is not clear what good this would do as long as the creditors continue the present policy of demands that are politically disastrous for any Greek government to try and satisfy. However, insisting on continuing disastrous policies seems to be a hallmark of EU negotiations with Greece
Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt said that Greece would not be allowed to postpone the payment to the IMF and that no further funds would be released until some of the promised reforms were actually implemented. Greece has not received any bailout funds since August of 2014.
Greece has not been allowed to use its sovereign debt to participate in the liquidity program that enables other euro zone countries to obtain funds. Greece has had to issue more treasury bills and even borrow from state entities to meet payment demands. After the first proposals for reform were rejected, new proposals are being studied.
While EU officials say that there has been progress in talks, they also claim that more work is required before a deal can be finalized.
Greece hopes to have a meeting of euro zone deputy finance ministers on the afternoon of April 8 and even on the morning of April 9.
However, the next meeting of the euro zone finance ministers will not be until April 24.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.
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