- What has been technically extended until Feb. 28 is the loan agreement that was due to expire on Dec. 31, 2014.
Its extension is a law ratified in the Greek Parliament.
The so-called “memorandum” is the set of terms of the loan agreement.
The bail-out program is the loan agreement with the conditions set forth in the memorandum.
The conditions were and are under constant evaluation, negotiation and redefinition. This is what was happening all these years. Now the country is in a much better financial situation, so the pending issues are fewer. Now the political and social climate is supportive and is not undermining the efforts of the Greek government.
- The new well-promoted pretext of the current government is the extension of the loan agreement, but not of the program/memorandum! But these two are a single unit with the loan agreement as a legal basis!
- A pretext similar to the renowned abolition of the troika, which was simply renamed as “representatives of the three institutions.” As for the argument that ministers do not discuss with troika executives, this is contradicted by the secret meeting of Mr. Varoufakis with Mr. Thomsen!
- Either way, the new government has completely backed down from its positions on the debt issue during the elcrtoral campaign.
- The two-month technical extension until Feb 28 was decided for two reasons:
First, to have a smooth relationship between the ECB and the Greek banks.
Secondly, to reach an agreeent within the two-months period on the next phase, the phase of precautionary credit line (ECCL).
- The previous government did not agree -due to PASOK’s reaction- to any budgetary austerity measure or to any other measure that was contrary to the national reconstruction plan as a precondition for the precautionary credit line. This happened without demagoguery, withouth playing any communication games with the Greek people’s feelings, without any negative international publicity that harms the Greek economy.
- The main objective of the previous government -and a fixed PASOK position- was the reduction of the desired primary surplus in order to reinforce growth-friendly and social policies. This issue was a key election position of PASOK in 2012, as well as in the European elections of May 2014 and the elections of January 25, 2015.
- The current government, as Mr. Tsipras said in the Parliament, would rather have a much longer extension of the loan agreement, longer than the two months expiring Feb. 28, so that it wouldn’t have to be in the difficult situation by handling this matter.
- In its effort to avoid the impression that it continues the previous policy, the current government is asking to be given an extraordinary status that will allow it not to call it “loan agreement” (with terms set forth in the memorandum), but rather a “bridge program” for example.
But this is not the new framework of the precautionary credit line, which is the necessary step for the return of an equal Eurozone member-state to normalcy.
Furthermore, the new government asks for a “bridge program,” without the remaining favorable installments provided for in the loan agreement, which will lead the Greek banking system to a state of over-dependency on the ECB in order to meet the cash needs of the public sector.
- Meanwhile, the current government systematically avoids mentioning the existing IMF program in force until March 2016. The previous government was planning to convert the IMF program into a preventive one, in accordance with the Eurozone’s precautionary credit line. Also, the current government does not refer to the issue of the pending installments of the IMF program.
- Instead of implementing a comprehensive policy forward, the government searches for linguistic pretense to move us backwards!
- The government should at last define its position in the most official, clear, comprehensive way, without continuous linguistic tricks, in order for us to be able to help it from our position as an opposition.