[Ed. – Surprise, surprise. If I were betting, I’d bet on Merkel trying to “bridge” this one more time, with something less than what Greece is asking for.]
The latest meeting between Greece and its international lenders over the debt-stricken country’s €172bn bailout ended in disarray on Monday, as the eurozone’s offer was rejected as “absurd” and “unacceptable”.
Greece has demanded an end to the EU and International Monetary Fund’s “adjustment” programme of economic reforms and austerity agreed three years ago in return for a bailout.
Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels on Monday hoping to reach a compromise before the bailout expires on February 28.
However, Greek politicians reacted with anger to a draft statement tabled by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs meetings of eurozone finance ministers.
The communique committed Greece’s far-Left Syriza government to “successfully conclude” the EU-IMF programme. …
Greece’s government blasted the document, with one source telling Reuters that “carrying out the bailout programme was off the table at the summit. Those who bring this back are wasting their time.”
To replace the bailout, Greece is seeking a “bridging arrangement”, worth up to €21bn, that would allow the government in Athens breathing space to implement radical economic reforms.