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Hopes and expectations ahead of Eurogroup

11/02/2015 06:13
All eyes focus on the Eurogroup meeting today, with Athens insisting that it cannot accept a return to austerity memoranda and the creditors indicating the need to respect agreements.

The Greek Prime Minister - in less than 24 hours before the meeting - expressed last night from the step of the Greek Parliament in a clear and intense way, the intentions
of Athens towards its partners.

"We will not ask for an extension of the memorandum, the memorandum ended on January 25," said the Prime Minister, reiterating what frustrated the partners of Greece in the past fifteen days.

Tsipras clarified that the government will not accept the prerequisites of the current program, just before securing the vote of confidence from the parliament.

He asked space and time through an interim program to continue deliberations for the new program, outlining briefly what the Finance Minister will today request in Brussels.

He warned that there is a risk of widespread destabilization in Europe if the EU is intransigent with Greece.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will present in the afternoon the Greek proposal, which was outlined above by the Prime Minister before, to the eurozone finance ministers, in the presence of Christine Lagarde and Mario Draghi.

However, the Greek proposal for bridge-program until the end of August will face the "wall" of Berlin.

Berlin to date has shown no willingness to compromise and this is confirmed by yesterday's statement of the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble from Istanbul.

Mr. Schauble denied information that the European Commission will grant a six-month extension to Greece.

In today's Eurogroup, he said, there will be no agreement on a new program.

He wants to hear, he said, something binding from Greece.

Negotiations are expected to peak in the next few days until the regular Eurogroup on Monday.


The Cypriot government will not get away from the spirit of understanding that had prevailed in the meeting between Anastasiades and Tsipras during the visit of the Greek Prime Minister in Cyprus last week, according to a state official.

The clear position of Nicosia, he said, is to give time to the new Greek government and the development program, as set by Athens.

The President had a meeting with his colleagues yesterday exchanging views ahead of the summit to be held on Thursday in Brussels.

The issue of Greece dominated the meeting, as expected. The President suggested that Nicosia will have a clearer picture after hearing the proposals of Athens today.

Before the meeting, President Anastasiades is expected to have an informal meeting with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Moreover, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades is expected to have a meeting with his Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis shortly before the Eurogroup meeting.

The Finance Minister reiterated yesterday that Cyprus will stand by Greece, stressing that this support does not revoke the course of the Cyprus program.