There is still some space to avoid this worst-case scenario. And to listen to the reasons of Alexis Tsipras and of Greece – that are the reasons of democracy, in Athens as in Europe.
By Mario Pianta. Published June 21, 2015 on openDemocracy.
Alexis Tsipras. Photo by Joanna (Flickr: Επίσκεψη Αλέξη Τσίπρα στην Κομοτηνή) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Relations between Greece and Europe are at key turning point. Between Friday 19 June and Monday afternoon, 22 June, when the European Council meets in an unexpected summit, four things may happen. An agreement, a temporary compromise, a break-up between Athens and Brussels, or a deepening of the crisis.
The first possibility – the most desirable – is an agreement based on the proposal of the Greek leader Alexis Tsipras: end austerity, release the 7.2 bn.euros of planned European aid, start a radical debt restructuring. But even the most pliable EU leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Friday: “I do not understand Tsipras” and “I have warned Mr. Tsipras many times he shouldn’t depend on me being able to prevent a failure of the talks”. This is not exactly the way you would prepare an agreement.
The second possibility is that the talks this weekend will lead to an intermediate compromise: an agreement to drag along the talks, with bridging EU funds for repaying the 1.6 bn. euros owed to the IMF at the end of June. In the meantime, on Friday ECB’s Mario Draghi has provided 2 bn. euros in emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks where the massive capital flight of past months has left no liquidity. Continue reading