Greece submitted its proposal to the Troika today to extend its bailout program for three years. It was one page long. Here’s an excerpt:
As you might expect, this is going over like a lead balloon. The Inspector Javerts of the eurozone will not be put off with vague promises of reform. Until they see details, and see them in a way that Greece can’t wriggle out of, they will just sit stony-faced and wait. The response of Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the European Parliament’s liberal party, was typical: “You are talking about reforms but we never see concrete proposals of reforms,” he said, in a speech that was greeted with loud applause. The previous night, Angela Merkel told reporters without emotion that “the conditions for starting negotiations on a program in the framework of the E.S.M. continue not to exist.”
So now Thursday is the day of reckoning. The only good news for Greece, I suppose, is that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew kinda sorta spoke up in favor of the Greeks, insisting that Greece’s debt was unsustainable and needed to be restructured as part of any deal. It remains to be seen whether anyone in Europe cares about Lew’s opinions.