Alexis Tsipras against internal and external “enemies” in pursue of a two-phase deal now

President Schulz seems to have a hard time to understand Syriza's vague vision for Greece during last EU Summit in April. From left to right, Mr Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament, Mr Alexis TSIPRAS, Greek Prime Minister. (Council TVnewsroom, 23/04/2015)

President Schulz seems to have a hard time to understand Syriza’s vague vision for Greece during last EU Summit in April. From left to right, Mr Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament, Mr Alexis TSIPRAS, Greek Prime Minister. (Council TVnewsroom, 23/04/2015)

The Greek government and particularly the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is currently looking at a deal with the creditors but is facing both interior and exterior “enemies”.  Mr Tsipras had extensive talks yesterday in Athens with the government’s officials in order to inform them about the negotiations’ progress.

The Finance Minister of Greece – “pop star”, Yanis Varoufakis, mentioned that the negotiations are going very well and the desired agreement will happen within a week’s time in an interview to a Greek TV channel last Monday. However, his Dutch counterpart stated that it is literally not possible to come to a mutual agreement within this week.

A great part of the deal will be sealed in a political level during the EU summit that is going to take place in Riga on May 21-22 where Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Alexis Tsipras will be present and possibly meet on the matter. This would be a great opportunity to discuss the progress that has been made so far and how close are both parties to reach an agreement that would be equally beneficial.

One of the main issues that the negotiating team of Alexis Tsipras is now discussing with the creditors is the increase of the Value Added Tax (VAT). Greece’s overall goal though in this agreement is to implement reforms that will not affect the severly hit by the crisis low and middle class of the Greek citizens who struggle to make ends meet. Instead Syriza’s government is giving its last fight trying to secure reforms that will bring actual growth to the economy.

Tsipras’s resistance

Greece would need a prime minister who will be able to face all difficulties from wherever they come from. The time is now for Mr Tsipras to take the matter in his own hands and resist to the views of the left-wing “hardcore” members of his government and at the same time to the mandatory austerity reforms that the creditors impose.

The members who oppose to the government’s policy are quite a few composing a substantial force against the governmental work. Particularly, the deputy Costas Lapavitsas bluntly stated in an interview given to “The Press Project” that the Greek economy will recover in a few months if the country returns to its old currency; the Drachma! Such statements from the governmental party reveal that the situation is reaching critical levels which rmake it very difficult to keep SYRIZA unified.

After a 5-hour long meeting with the parliamentary group of SYRIZA, the Greek prime minister formulated that the government agreement will come into two phases. The first and current one will boost the economy by providing the last tranche of 7.2 billion euros and the second one will be covering the deal for Greece’s debt and the framework that the two parties will proceed after the end of June.

However, this two phases approach contradicts to what the Greek government was saying just a couple of weeks ago, supporting a one and only deal in all matters. It seems that as the time presses, Greece fails to keep its promises once again. Let’s wait and see if Tsipras will be unable to keep his pre-election announcements regarding the party’s “red lines” by the end of this summer.

Varoufakis vs. Dijsselbloem

Mr Varoufakis, on the other hand, was very optimistic about the progress of the negotiations with the three institutions in contrast to the president of Eurogroup and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The Greek Finance Minister stated two days ago that the deal will be reached within this week but his Dutch counterpart mentioned that it is highly unlikely to come to a conclusive agreement in the aforementioned timeframe.

The latter acknowledged the progress that has been made so far but outlined that the final decision for the Greek debt is due to the negotiations context with the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF. Furthermore, the Dutch Finance Minister was quite certain yesterday that the next EU summit on Friday will finally secure a deal for Greece.

Riga’s summit: A Greek deal’s forerunner

This week’s summit in Riga is crucial not only for the relationships of the EU with its Eastern Partners but also because it will be a great chance for the EU leaders to meet and discuss about the long-lasting issue of Greece’s debt. Thus, the German Chancellor together with the President of the EC and France’s President will talk about the progress of the negotiations in Brussels group level and how will be possible to make an agreement by the end of May in order to “save” Greece from an imminent limbo.

The leaders of Germany and France jointly stated during their meeting in Berlin that in principle they desire and pursue an agreement with the Greek government by the end of this month since that was the anticipation of the agreement made on February 20 this year. More specifically, Angela Merkel stated that: “I’d say the talks need to speed up, rather than that they are going too fast, and we hope the relevant forum – the Brussels Group – can make clear progress because the agreement in February was that a program should be set up by the end of May”.

VAT increase: How it affects the economy

One of the issues that is now on the table is the Greek VAT. The problem lies in the fact that the three institutions propose higher VAT rates in order to bring more tax revenues to Greece compared to the ones that the Greek government suggests. Today’s Brussels group meeting will reveal the intentions of both parties to the conclusion of a permanent or temporary agreement.

The Greek team is believed to have prepared a modified version of their VAT increase proposal and will present it to their creditors’ technical team. Will it be enough to bring both parties closer to signing a deal or Mr Tsipras will have to push things by conscripting his negotiating skills against Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande in the next EU summit?

The Greek citizens and economy will eventually be affected by this imminent VAT increase. It is not clear though how this rise will bring growth and provide extra liquidity to the state the moment that tourism will be significantly influenced in a negative way and once more the poor will become poorer.

All in all, the VAT matter is only the tip of the Greek iceberg. It does not appear to be a great obstacle in the negotiations but under the surface a great mass of ice between Brussels and Athens has been making prospects over the Athenian sky inescapably gloomy.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The ‘yellow vests’ undermined Macron in France and the EU

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Batteries can power sustainable development. Here’s how

Sahel crisis reaching unprecedented levels, warn top UN humanitarian officials

China is building 8 new airports a year

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

An open letter to Europe’s leaders

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

‘Passport to dignity’ that schools represent may expire fast, without emergency funding warns UN Palestine refugee agency

This is what the world’s waste does to people in poorer countries

Overcoming the paralysis of trust management across a fractured IT landscape

‘Collective endeavour’ needed to strengthen peacekeeping further, says top UN official

The United States divorce rate is dropping, thanks to millennials

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

How Africa and Asia are joining forces on universal healthcare

Brexit talks stalled at launch; issues with European Court’s authority in Britain

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

How to end overfishing in the global South

Can we create an empathic alternative to the capitalist system?

How the world can gear up for the fight against cancer

This robot boat delivered a box of oysters in a breakthrough for unmanned shipping

The EU sides with China against the US; but has Germany capitulated to America?

Boris as UK Premier to be cornered if attempting a no-deal Brexit

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

The future of work ‘with social justice for all’ tops agenda of centenary UN Labour conference

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

EU adopts retaliative measures in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

How to beat gender stereotypes: learn, speak up and react

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Syria still suffering ‘staggering levels’ of humanitarian need, Security Council hears

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

How trade tariffs could help combat climate change

MWC 2016 LIVE: Under Armour learns from “robust community of data”

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

Where will evolution take us in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

8 things we need to do to tackle humanitarian crises in 2019

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

Christine Lagarde: the three priorities for the global economy

In Bali, UN chief Guterres outlines importance of international financial cooperation for sustainable development

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

Climate change is exacerbating hunger in some of the world’s poorest countries. And those most at risk are the least to blame

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

The EU patent space and Unified Court are born

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s