Analysis: Breakdown of Greek Debt Negotiations

EUGFlag, cc Flickr, modified, Nicolas Raymond,

Monday saw the collapse of talks between Greek and euro zone finance ministers in Brussels. The offer on the EU side had been a six-month extension of the current bailout package; a compromise in timing but not in substance, as it would perpetuate the same kind of austerity-for-loans that Greece’s Syriza-led government has vowed to escape from.

Though the media has painted the breakdown in talks as a prelude to disaster (as the media is apt to do), it’s more likely an intermediate feint in the more extended battle of wills over Greece’s future place in the euro zone. The motivation being that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his peers are testing how far Syriza is willing to go on the policy front to back up its ideological claims during the election cycle. With the Monday breakdown their question has been answered – farther than six additional months of more-of-the-same.

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