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The end of a dream! a Eurogroup reduced to 18 members (update)

VaroufakisEurogroup2 20150627(BRUSSELS2) Yanis Varoufakis the Greek Finance Minister left the Eurogroup meeting this Saturday (June 27) before the end. It's the break. The words exchanged between the parties were very harsh. The Greek minister accused the 18 of having excluded him (read here on his blog). The 18 remaining ministers decided to continue the meeting without him, considering that he had broken off the negotiation. None wanted to leave the room, a very clear sign of a boycott of the applicant.

“Since the Eurogroup agreement of February 20, 2015 on the extension of the current financial assistance agreement, intensive negotiations have taken place between the institutions and the Greek authorities to achieve a successful revision. Given the prolonged deadlock in the negotiations and the urgency of the situation, the institutions have put forward a comprehensive proposal on political conditionality, making use of the flexibility given within the current agreement.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts made at all levels and the full support of the Eurogroup, this proposal was rejected by the Greek authorities, who finally broke off the program negotiations on June 26, unilaterally. The Eurogroup recalls the significant financial transfers and support that have been provided to Greece over the past few years. The Eurogroup was open until the last minute to further support the Greek people through a growth-oriented programme.

The Eurogroup takes note of the decision of the Greek government to put forward a proposal to call for a referendum, which should take place on Sunday July 5, ie after the expiry of the programming period. The current financial assistance scheme for Greece will expire on June 30, 2015, together with all the agreements relating to the current Greek program, including the transfer by the Member States of the Euro Zone of the equivalent profits of the SMP (Securities Market Program) and ANFA (Autonomous Factors).

The Eurozone authorities are ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure the financial stability of the Eurozone. »

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This is the first statement signed by only 18 of the 19 Eurozone finance ministers (all but Greece) as the carefully highlighted footnote shows.

FootnoteEurogroup20150627But this is not the first time that European structures have resorted to this "footnote" device, often used to allow an agreement. In any case, the rupture is consummated.


NB: statement written in English and translated by us

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).