Greek negotiations to continue after Sunday’s referendum

Less than 24 hours after writing conciliatory letter to creditors, Greek Prime Minister switches back into combative mode, while Eurogroup decides to wait for Sunday’s referendum to continue talks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Eurozone finance ministers held an hour-long conference call on Wednesday to discuss an offer Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made with a letter hours after the country defaulted on its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Eurogroup agreed that there could be no further discussion of credit for Greece until after the referendum on Sunday.

“There will be no further talks in the coming days, nor at Eurogroup level, nor between the Greek authorities and the institutions on proposals or financial arrangements,” said the chairman of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

He said Tsipras’ suggested amendments have been noted, however he saw “little chance” of progress after his latest comments.

Greece became the first developed economy to default on debt to the IMF when the country missed the deadline to pay its 1.6 billion euro debt on June 30.

Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wrote a conciliatory letter to international creditors asking for a new bailout that would accept many of their terms and demanding only two main amendments.

However, less than 24 hours after writing the letter, Tsipras abruptly switched back into combative mode in a television address.

The Greek PM defiantly said Greece was “blackmailed,” and urged Greeks to reject an international bailout deal by voting “no” in Sunday’s referendum.

"A 'No' vote is a decisive step towards a better agreement that we aim to sign right after Sunday's result," Tsipras said, rejecting repeated warnings from European partners.

The referendum is going to be decisive on whether Greece stays in the euro or returns to the drachma.  

If negotiations between Greece and its creditors restart after the referendum, Germany and other member states emphasized that talks on a new bailout programme would have to start from the beginning with different conditions. On the other hand, Tsipras said he would step aside, if Greeks voted “yes” in Sunday’s referendum.


TRTWorld and agencies