The patience with the Greeks is over in
On Saturday Greece requested a temporary extension of the Greek loan program from the other euro countries, so they can hold a referendum. The answer was a clear no.
- The loan program expires on Tuesday night, it is quite clear, said euro chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem to the press and continued the meeting of the euro group without the Greeks present.
- A sad day for Europe, but we will survive, said Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis when he marched out of the building.
Before the negotiations between Greece and creditors in the European Union and IMF stranded on Friday, the latest offer was a five-month extension of the huge loan program.
But Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected the terms of reforms in labor, pension and taxes and said it was an attempt to "demean an entire people." Before the weekend he therefore pulled out of the negotiations and instead he said he will put forward the conditions for the Greeks in a referendum next Sunday.
Now however, the Greeks have little to vote over, so the hope in Brussels is that they would rather continue negotiations. The National Assembly in Athens will consider the referendum late Saturday night.
- We were so close. It was absolutely the wrong time to leave the negotiations, says an official in the European Commission.
Without new funds Greece is in danger of going bankrupt. Already on Tuesday a 1.5 billion euro payment to the IMF is due, and there are fears of what might happen at the moment Greece is in arrears.
At worst, they can break out of the entire currency cooperation.
- The Greek people will still have enough oxygen next week and they will survive, says Tsipras.
- This is absolutely ridiculous of Tsipras. The Greek government has no plan B, no plan C. And had no credible plan A, says economist Demetrios Efstathiou in bank ICBC.
- I hope there will be an agreement, otherwise the situation becomes quite cruel for the Greeks.
Nervous Greeks are now taking their money out of the banks, and on Saturday over a third of the ATMs went empty and had to refilled. On Sunday the European Central Bank meet to discuss new emergency funding to keep the banks solvent.
- If not, there will be panic.
- The economy will stop up and tax revenues decrease even more. Greece will then have trouble paying wages, pensions and public services such as hospitals.
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