As expected, Wednesday's Eurogroup failed to result in an agreement for Greece and the eurozone but the gap between the two sides was emphasised by the absence of a joint statement at the end of the meeting.
The Greek government goes into Wednesday night’s crucial, but not definitive, Eurogroup meeting buoyed by a number of domestic factors.
Understandably, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out his government’s policy programme on Sunday, all the attention has fallen on whether Greece will be able to reach an agreement with its lenders, starting with Wednesday’s Eurogroup.
One day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s presented his government’s policy programme in Parliament, the Finance Ministry has been briefing journalists on what will be the four pillars of Greece’s proposal to the Eurogroup on Wednesday.
Despite expectations that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would moderate his goals when announcing his government’s policy programme in Parliament on Sunday, the Greek leader’s stuck almost rigidly to his pre-election pledges, many of which run counter to the policies that the country’s lenders would like to see.
There seems to be some unnecessary confusion surrounding what position Greece will take at the extra Eurogroup meeting on Wednesday, February 11.
A meeting between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin on Thursday failed to result in any agreement but underlined the SYRIZA-led coalition’s determination to reject the option of extending the current bailout.
While the focus has been on the Greek government’s negotiations with eurozone officials over a possible new debt deal, the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition has been preparing its policies on the domestic front.
The outlines of what the new Greek government is aiming to ask of its eurozone partners in terms of debt relief emerged on Monday evening, when Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis spoke to the Financial Times after meeting with British Chancellor George Osborne and investors in London.
After a troubling first few days in office, the new Greek government appeared to get a better grip on the tough situation it finds itself in but also revealed that it is totally reliant on the European Central Bank’s support if it is to achieve its goal of reaching a new settlement with the eurozone.