European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is in Washington for talks at the International Monetary Fund and will deliver a speech there. Presumably Greece will be item 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the agenda.
Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.
Greece has two weeks to produce some red meat.
The default scenario is off the table for the time being after Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister, confirmed the country would meet a payment to the International Monetary Fund on April 9. But with more payments looming, the fear of bankruptcy will be back by late April if Greece doesn’t come up with some substantial reforms.
A Greek deal has been pulled from the fire at the last moment. The country’s bailout programme will be extended for four months averting a potential cash crunch in March that could have forced the country out of the currency area.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Istanbul will pledge to act decisively on monetary and fiscal policy if needed to combat the risk of stagnation, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters last night. As has been customary at these summits, a lot of the discussion implicitly centres on Germany.
Alexis Tsipras is not for turning, not yet anyway.
Speaking in parliament on Sunday night the new Greek premier said he would not accept an extension to Greece's current bailout, something the euro zone is urging him to do, and stuck with austerity-ending pledges such as giving free food and electricity to those who need it, reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout conditions and raising the minimum wage. Privatisations have already been halted.
Last night, after Greece's new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding, shifting the burden onto Greece’s central bank to finance its lenders, the latest reverse for the country’s new government.
Syriza has fallen tantalisingly short of an overall majority, winning 149 of 300 Greek parliamentary seats and taking 36.3 percent of the vote, 8.5 points ahead of the New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in what amounts to a decisive rejection of austerity.