Officially, Greece is not on the agenda of discussions on growth or financial regulation. But behind the scenes, worry smoldering.
How not to talk about? For two days, the G7 finance ministers and the central bank governors, representatives of European institutions or IMF chief tried hard exercise to raise as little as possible the situation in Greece.
The press time yet to reach an agreement between Athens and its creditors, who were all represented in Dresden, Germany. Officially, Greece is not on the agenda of the talks, devoted to growth or financial regulation. “We talked about it a few minutes,” said the German Minister Wolfgang Schäuble hosted the G7, at the end of the two-day meeting. That is to say, unless of Ukraine and about as much as Nepal. As if it was not a subject that could weigh on the economy, if not global, at least European. “Greece has not upset our discussions,” said his side the French Minister Michel Sapin.
The major European financial are to avoid runaway, in one direction or another. Unlike ads from the Greek government, the agreement is still far. “These” positive “ads do not reflect the progress of the discussions,” Schaeuble ruled. “There is still work to do,” commented the corridors the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, who presented a short report to its partners. Harder still, IMF chief Christine Lagarde ruled in an interview with the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , “unlikely” the conclusion of an agreement in “the coming days”. It also ensured that the IMF, in which Athens has to repay 1.7 billion euros next month, 300 million in a week, would be inflexible.
This interview blew a wind of excitement in Dresden. By declaring that an outflow of the euro area was a “possibility” and that such “Grexit” “would not mean the end of the euro”, Christine Lagarde revived speculation machine. So much so that the boss of the IMF has completed his remarks in the evening. This is something “which I hope the Europeans will not face because they will find, hopefully, a way to agree on the future of Greece in the euro area.” “There is no script for” Grexit “,” assured Michel Sapin the next day. “If we start talking about a Plan B, it means that no longer believes in Plan A”, warned Pierre Moscovici. A Greek exit from the euro would not destabilize the entire European economy, do we want to believe in the G7.
The concern smoldering however, and the non-European members of the club of the powerful, which was excluded Russia last year, took care to say. “All parties must move,” urged the Secretary of State to the US Treasury, Jack Lew. “There must be flexibility on the part of institutions,” he asked, adding that “very difficult decisions” must be taken by Athens. “In the interest of all and of the world economy”, this problem should be solved “without coming to a crisis.” For Japan also, avoid a dangerous precedent. “From the time a country would leave the Eurozone, it would not be the same monetary union, stable, than before”, told the Handelsblatt business daily the Governor of the Central Bank Haruhiko Kuroda. Greece’s creditors know this and would conclude the negotiations if possible peacefully.