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Easter Break

AXA - Our Partner

The gap between official and private statements

  • Please note: No newsbriefing next Monday due to bank holiday;
  • Alexis Tsipras, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande held two hours of talks at the sidelines of the Riga summit yesterday night;
  • Merkel and Hollande promised to personally help to speed up the process,
  • but only once a deal is achieved with the institutions, including the IMF;
  • the Greek side officially continues to appear optimistic, while privately being more alarmed than ever;
  • disagreement still persists not only about labour and pension reforms but also over the VAT proposal, where creditors want two VAT rates, 10% as the lowest rate;
  • Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said that Yanis Varoufakis promised her not to raise VAT during the summer;
  • there is increasing hostility within the Syriza party towards a deal;
  • we noted an article by Paul Mason who says that the Greek parliament might sue the government to force a unilateral debt write-off;
  • a group of three prominent Syriza dissidents is leading the internal opposition - they are energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, Costas Lapavitsas MP, and most notably Zoi Konstantopoulou, the speaker of the parliament;
  • if Alexis Tsipras were to agree a deal, the consequence could be a party split - something he would only risk if he believed that the agreement would have overwhelming public support;
  • Nick Malkoutzis notes that Kostas Karamanlis, PM between 2004 and 2009, has emerged as the most popular figure to replace Antonis Samaras as leader of New Democracy - one reason is that Karamanlis skillfully avoided blame for the crisis, another is the lack of alternative leaders;
  • Philip Stephens says only the heads of government can save Greece now: the crisis was economic and political before, now it is entirely about geopolitics;

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