After yet another failed round of negotiations between Greece and its creditors in Brussels Thursday, I have so many questions about the logjam.
Here are the first 10 of the morning:
- Why has German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal has to be done by the time markets open on Monday? Is she trying to create a market event? Surely they could have put out a holding statement if they were that close?
- On that point, why not just push on with talks at the leaders' summit rather than reconvening on Saturday? Surely the rest of the European Union agenda could have been shelved?
- Why has Merkel told reporters that euro zone leaders can't get involved and it's for the finance minister to sort out? If this is to be the big moment in euro zone history, this if bigger than finance ministers alone to decide?
- What is the "Plan B" being talked about at the leaders' summit last night? If it involves support for Greece through the initial turmoil if there is no deal, then why are Germans pushing for a quick cap on the European Central Bank's emergency liquidity allowance? If there is no ELA safety net, there would be huge problems nationwide in Greece.
- Is anyone blackmailing anyone? Both sides have used the word to the press but when does tough negotiating become blackmail? All very curious if you are trying to calm tensions to use those and other similar language.
- Is there a conspiracy out there? Too many theories doing the rounds, but is there a left wing conspiracy from Syriza, a neo-liberal one from the creditors, or a plot to undemocratically overthrow the Greek government? I've heard them all trust me.
- Even if Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gets a deal in Brussels, what are his chances of passing it in Athens?
- If Tsipras does get a deal in Brussels, would that destroy his Syriza? The left wing of his party just won't go along with the creditors' terms.
- Again, if he gets a deal in Brussels, will it create a new general election or referendum in Greece is year? A lot of MPs I've spoken to say yes.
- Back to the Saturday euro zone meeting. By going into the weekend does this virtually guarantee a default of the money due to IMF on Tuesday? Ratification in Greece and Germany, Finland etc looks too tight to stay on track.