Athenian's continue their protests. Greece's two main labour unions, GSEE and ADEDY, already plan to hold a 48-hour strike on Friday and Saturday against a new package of austerity measures. Union leaders have constantly stated that the requirements for the bailout package are unacceptable. Political factions seem to be cracking and a small party says that they will not support the recommendations.
Do The Greeks Understand Europeans
Do The Greeks Understand Europeans
Despite the fact that Greek leaders said they'd finally reached an agreement on austerity measures designed to fulfil the Troika's (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and Eurppean Union) requirements to release the second €130bn financing package, Eurozone finance ministers refused to give the plan the green light. This drives the euro down, after breaking about the 1.33 line.
In yet another delay for Athens, Eurogroup Chairman Juncker set down three conditions for releasing the bailout package.
First, Greek Parliament must approve the agreement at its meeting next Sunday.
Then Athens must provide another €325m in planned cuts by next Wednesday. ( this is due to an ever growing budget deficit that continues to surge above projections )
Lasty, a strong compromise from political leaders that they will stick to their guns and implement the program.
The euro leapt on Thursday following news of the Greek deal which saw political leaders come to a long-awaited agreement over austerity measures to put to its creditors in a bid to side-step defaulting on its debts in March.
Greek Prime Minister Luca Papademos's office announced that, Political party chiefs have agreed with the result of these talks. There is a general agreement on the contents of the new programme ahead of this evening's Eurogroup meeting.
In a reference to the second bailout package, the statement indicated that the new programme includes a new financing agreement worth €130bn.
The euro gained $1.3287, compared to $1.3264 on Wednesday evening. The announcement had sparked a rise which saw the currency trade as high as $1.3321.
A German official stated the obvious this Thursday morning when he assured Reuters that the Eurogroup won't be able to approve Greece's bailout and bond swap at this evening's meeting simply because the groundwork is still not ready: there will be no decision because there is no basis for it yet, the official told the news agency.
Greek politicians were unable to close the deal Wednesday night leaving a €300m shortfall in its deficit reduction plan due to disagreement over pension cuts. Final approval of the budget cuts must be obtained from the Troika (IMF, ECB and UE) in order for Greek to receive a second €130bn financing package. Despite not having achieved the pension reform required as part of the budget cuts, Greek daily ekathimerinireports that the Troika will give Greece 15 days to find an alternative. This news pushed the euro down again, close to the 1.30 mark
In any case, EU officials had previously stated that Athens would need to obtain their approval before February 15th in order to have access to the funds in time to deal with the €14.5bn bond payment that comes due on March 20th. Legal procedures are expected to take approximately six weeks.
We can go back day by day and track the euro and the rumors and the negotiations. The fact is it is now February 11 with 4 days and counting. Default is imminent.