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Saturday, June 23, 2012 10:42 AM

Greece Asks Troika For Moon; Time Means Money

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It will be interesting to see how long the coalition in Greece will last after Germany shoots down Bailout Easing Proposals by Greece to ....

  • Cut the VAT
  • Freeze layoffs
  • Extend timeline to reduce its deficit by two years
  • Recapitalize lenders
  • Provide more help for the unemployed
  • Accelerate payments to providers of government services.

Bloomberg reports Greece Seeks at Least Two-Year Extension to Bailout Goals noting that "New Democracy, Pasok and the Democratic Left agree that plans to cut 150,000 public-sector jobs should be scrapped."

Loosening of Pledges Unacceptable

The coalition parties (New Democracy, Pasok, Democratic Left) can agree to whatever they want. They may as well agree the moon is made of green cheese while requesting slices on a platter.

Immediately following the election in Greece German chancellor Angela Merkel stated Greece must stick to commitments
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday a new Greek government had to meet commitments made to international lenders.

Speaking to reporters at a Group of 20 leaders' meeting, Merkel said any loosening of agreed reform pledges after Sunday's narrow election victory for Greece's pro-bailout parties would be unacceptable.
The Troika may agree to trivial changes, hoping to keep the coalition together. Don't expect that tactic to work for long as the Greek economy continues to implode.

Meanwhile, Alexis Tsipras, the "radical left" party leader, can comfortably sit back in opposition and say "I told you so".

Time Means Money

Not only will Greece not get any significant changes in the agreed upon terms, a key Merkel ally wants Greece to speed things up because "it  has already wasted a lot of time due to the new elections."

Please consider Merkel Ally Rejects Bailout Concessions for Greece
As New Democracy tries to form a government in Greece, there have been suggestions that the terms of the EU bailout could be relaxed. But now a senior member of German Chancellor Merkel's conservatives has insisted the deal stands. Athens needs to "make up for lost time," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Volker Kauder, 62, floor leader of the conservatives' parliamentary group, rejected granting concessions to Athens, saying that the country has already wasted a lot of time due to the new elections. "In the case of Greece, time can mean a lot of money," he said. "That's why I can't imagine that we could make changes in that regard."

"It would be appropriate if the new (Greek) government were to say: Yes, we will try to make up for lost time," Kauder said. The new government could, for example, try to speed up the pace of the privatization of state assets, he said.

Kauder implicitly criticized Westerwelle's suggestion that the bailout terms could be relaxed. The German government shouldn't "send any signal" that the agreed-upon austerity measures can be changed, he said.

The conservative politician also emphasized that all countries that have received EU-led bailouts should be treated the same. "The Irish and Portuguese can't come and demand to renegotiate (the bailout deals) as well," he said. "Agreements have to be adhered to."
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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