Greece debt talks: EU chief feels ‘betrayed’

He told a news conference that Greek proposals were “delayed” or “deliberately altered” and the Greek people “should be told the truth”, but the door was still open to talks.

Greece has called a surprise referendum and Greek banks are closed for a week.

European stock market saw big falls The European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said he feels “betrayed” by the “egotism” shown by Greece in failed debt talks.

He told a news conference that Greek proposals were “delayed” or “deliberately altered” and the Greek people “should be told the truth”, but the door was still open to talks.

Greece has called a surprise referendum and Greek banks are closed for a week.

It’s hard to remember the last time a president of the European Commission used such blunt, undiplomatic and sometimes angry language about the government of a member state.

Jean-Claude Juncker said he felt betrayed, and suggested that Alexis Tsipras was lying to his people about cuts in wages and pensions.

There was no hint of a last minute deal before Greece’s current bailout programme expires Tuesday evening.

Instead Mr Juncker appealed directly to the Greek people ahead of the proposed referendum this weekend.

And the message was clear – vote “yes” to our proposals and we’ll support you. Vote “no” and you’ll probably get kicked out of the euro.

Mr Juncker also said any criticism aimed at him or other senior politicians in the creditor institutions was unjustified.

It was an emotional appeal from the heart.

But it also felt like a pre-emptive effort to make his side of the story public in case this all goes very wrong.

On Saturday, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided not to extend emergencyfinance to the Greek banks, after the breakdown of talks on giving heavily indebted Greece the last payment of its international bailout.

Following the ECB announcement, Greece said its banks would remain shut until 6 July. Cash machines are now reopening, but customers can withdraw only limited amounts.

A critical deadline looms on Tuesday, when Greece is due to pay back €1.6bn to the International Monetary Fund – the same day the bailout expires. There are fears of a default and a possible exit from euro.

The French cabinet met on Monday in an emergency session. President Francois Hollande said afterwards that a deal was still possible if the Greeks wanted it.

“There are a few hours before the negotiation is definitively closed, in particular for the prolongation of the Greek aid programme.”

Athens resident Ilia Iatrou says the situation is “unbearable”.

“My mother-in-law queued up for over an hour at the cash point just to be able to withdraw a small amount of money.

“I haven’t tried to go to the cash machine myself, as we don’t have much money left.

“My neighbours and I have now resorted to a sort of barter system among ourselves because we have no money left.

“We can’t take any more of this, so we have to keep saying no to the EU masters.

“The EU can’t afford to let us fail so we should continue to say no and they will blink and give us a better deal.”

In its decree bringing in the bank restrictions, the Greek government cited the “extremely urgent” need to protect the financial system due to the lack of liquidity.

The main points are:

Banks closed till 6 July

Cash withdrawals limited to €60 (£42; $66) a day for this period

Cash machine withdrawals with foreign bank cards permitted

Pension payments not part of capital controls

Banking transactions within Greece allowed

In reaction to the crisis, the London, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan stock markets fell sharply in early trading on Monday, following similar falls in Asia.

The euro lost 2% of its value against the the US dollar. Government borrowing costs in Italy and Spain, two of the eurozone’s weaker economies, have also risen.

The Athens stock exchange is also closed as part of the measures.

Friday evening: Greek prime minister calls referendum on terms of new bailout deal, asks for extension of existing bailout

Saturday afternoon: Eurozone finance ministers refuse to extend existing bailout beyond Tuesday

Saturday evening: Greek parliament backs referendum for 5 July

Sunday afternoon: ECB says it is not increasing emergency assistance to Greece

Sunday evening: Greek government says banks to be closed for the week and cash withdrawals restricted to €60

Friday evening: Greek prime minister calls referendum on terms of new bailout deal, asks for extension of existing bailout

Saturday afternoon: Eurozone finance ministers refuse to extend existing bailout beyond Tuesday

Saturday evening: Greek parliament backs referendum for 5 July

Sunday afternoon: ECB says it is not increasing emergency assistance to Greece

Sunday evening: Greek government says banks to be closed for the week and cash withdrawals restricted to €60.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!