"This odd stance seems to indicate that either there is no interest in an agreement or that special interests are being backed. #Greece (2/2)"
That is a view we have held for some time.
Days ago Tsipras put forward a deal with significant pension reforms but they were not enough for Greek creditors.
Wednesday the Queen called for European unity when she delivered a speech at a state banquet in Berlin; German chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron were also present.
Cameron is touring the EU rather than looking after home affairs; he is trying to spin a new EU deal for the UK so that he can then hold a referendum on whether or not the UK should remain in the Union.
Cameron's priorities say a great deal about our current newly elected Tory government.
But the Tories should note that no matter what deal, if any, Cameron secures there are many people in the UK who just want 'out'. They will vote to leave the EU and the fine detail of a new deal will not affect their vote.
As Greece faces tough challenges which will involve financial pain for its people is a state banquet for some of the fat-cats of Europe appropriate? How about the wealthy working-pensioner the Queen talking about unity? The speech however was in reference to Russia and a perceived threat to European and ultimately world peace by President Putin.
But when you are asking pensioners to take further pension cuts, workers to worker further into old age before retirement, universities to operate without basic cleaning services, public service jobs to be reduced in number, health care providers to work in dire circumstances and patients to manage without vital medication should you be parading your wealth for all to see? If you are part of the group of people making those tough demands on Greece surely the answer is no.
Pensions seem to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a new Greek debt deal but kudos to the Greek government for wanting to help those in older age.
But as the chart image shows Greek pensions are hardly that great. How much is a pension worth in Greece?
As a comparison in the UK the full Basic State Pension is currently £115.95 a week. It is paid four weekly and equates to £6,029.4 a year. The Greek figure above works out to £8983.92.
Those in the UK who are verbally attacking pensioners online after Cameron promised to preserve pensioner entitlements until 2020 take note.
In the UK there are additional benefits some means-tested. Pension reform and changes are underway in the UK. They will mean people working longer and receiving a new state pension which appears better at first glance but many will not be eligible to receive it. For now at least current pensioners are being left on the existing scheme; a two-tier pension system will operate soon which may eventually lead to pension chaos and uncertainty.
Across the EU and Eurozone retirement ages are rising but there are reports that in many cases Greek men still retire at 63 and women at 59; that is another sticking point for Greek creditors. The previous government had committed to higher retirement ages.
While you cannot expect EU countries to fund better pensions for Greece and limit those paid at home the conclusion should be we all follow Greece's lead and look after older citizens. Having paid into the system throughout long working lives why are they now the scapegoat for rogue bankers and others who caused the 2008 financial crisis?
Greek creditors want pensions cut further.
As Tsipras notes it looks like it is more about other agendas. Right wing bureaucrats of the EU will never understand the left-wing government that Tsipras heads and will always want the 'little people' to pay for the 2008 crisis.