On Monday, talks began in Athens to clear remaining hurdles before Troika officials release any bailout funds. They demand more.
On Friday, the IMF said about 16.5 billion euros still to disburse under an existing agreement with Athens is now outdated, according to theFinancial Times. They’re off the table.
It explained “negotiations between Athens and the IMF could take months. But the decision to pursue a new IMF programme means eurozone leaders may have to open talks on granting Greece significant debt relief much earlier than originally anticipated, since the IMF will not sign on to a new programme unless eurozone lenders agree to restructure their bailout loans.”
“That could lead to political difficulties in Germany, which has fiercely resisted writedowns to levels the IMF has been demanding.”
On Sunday, the FT said Troika officials want greater access to Greek ministries than apparently agreed to earlier. They sent lower-level negotiators to Athens instead of top ones SYRIZA expected.
According to the FT, it’s “the latest sign of concern among Greece’s creditors that, despite the summit agreement two weeks ago to restart talks, there remain deep differences on the way forward that could still derail negotiations before anAugust 20 deadline.”
They’re raising the bar. They want more – additional pounds of flesh before agreeing to release bailout funds.
Greek concessions so far were prerequisites to begin new talks – as well as getting a 7 billion euro bridge loan so its banks could hand most of it back to the ECB and IMF in debt service.
Troika officials now say Greek parliamentarians must legislate further “reforms,” according to the FT. Disbursing bailout funds depends on agreeing to even stiffer austerity and other demands than already.
One Troika official involved in talks said “(t)his, at present, is the big fat issue. They do not want to understand that there will be yet another significant package of ‘prior actions’ before any disbursement. They already have implementation fatigue after two mini-bills.”
Germany especially wants another round of so-called “prior actions” – measures Troika officials demand agreed to by Greek parliamentarians.
Significant differences remain between both sides – including haggling over how much access to Greek ministries to allow, what Athens venue will host talks, and how much more punishing austerity SYRIZA is willing to permit.
Having rolled over twice in two parliamentary votes, it looks like an easy mark for more. Troika officials indicated bailout disbursements depend on it.
They want Athens surrendering unconditionally to all their demands – including future ones, a bottomless pit of looting.
SRYIZA is like the rest – going along against the interests of its own people until there’s nothing left to pillage, Grexit becomes reality after defaulting on its odious debt becomes Athens’ only remaining option, and recovery looms more distant than ever – while ordinary people starve.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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