Is Greece Blinking First?


Hum de hum. An unnamed source says Greece is changing its tune about demanding a new deal to replace its existing rescue package:

Greece will seek an extension to its rescue deal from the rest of the eurozone Wednesday, an official with knowledge of the situation said….Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he expects an agreement between Greece and the eurozone over an extension. “It is my considered opinion that there is going to be a text that everyone is going to be happy with,” Mr. Varoufakis said in a brief telephone interview, despite talks in recent days with his eurozone counterparts that he described as “boisterous.”

But there’s also this:

The comments came shortly after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave a defiant speech in Parliament in Athens, saying his government would move to immediately dismantle overhauls mandated by its bailout program….“We are not taking even one step back from our basic promises to the Greek people, not one step back from our pre-election promises,” Mr. Tsipras said.

So it’s more good-cop-bad-cop. But if this report is true, it looks like it’s Greece that’s blinking first. Why? Probably because—to Greece’s surprise—the Germans seem all too sincere about letting Greece default and exit the euro if they refuse to continue down the austerity path they’re currently on. If this is really the state of play, then Greece will get a few minor concessions that Tsipras can spin as a victory for domestic consumption, but not much more.