World Economy

Tsipras Clashes With EU, Calls IMF ‘Criminal’

Tsipras Clashes With EU,  Calls IMF ‘Criminal’Tsipras Clashes With EU,  Calls IMF ‘Criminal’

Greece and its creditors are openly at war: Tsipras accuses the International Monetary Fund of ''criminal'' responsibilities for the country's situation and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, accuses Tsipras of lying on negotiations.

And as the showdown draws nearer with ministers at a Eurogroup meeting on Thursday, the ECB warns that it will leave open emergency loans known as Emergency Liquidity Assistance keeping Greece afloat, until it defaults, ANSAmed reported.

In order to avoid this and try to do everything possible, an emergency summit of heads of state and government could be summoned after the Eurogroup meeting. The increasingly serious situation, with stalling talks and exchanges of accusations between institutions, has led the Athens stock exchange to record its third day of decline while European markets closed just above zero and the spread between Italy's 10-year BTP state bond and the German bond touched 160 points and went down to close at 153 points. And banks are continuing to register a hemorrhage of deposits. Some two billion euros were withdrawn in June.

Long-Distance Duel

The impasse in negotiations turned Tuesday into a long-distance duel between the leaders involved, drastically reducing hope for an agreement at the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg, which will also be attended by IMF Director Christine Lagarde and ECB President Mario Draghi.

The Greek premier was the first to attack in an address to the parliament: ''The IMF has a criminal responsibility for the situation of Greece''.

According to Tsipras, creditors are asking Athens to accept a solution that doesn't solve the problem ''but brings the economy back in recession''. The monetary fund does not budge from calls for austerity, he told lawmakers, and the EU is not willing to discuss the debt.

The situation could bring Athens to not pay the €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) it owes the IMF at the end of the month, almost certainly implying its default. If for the Greek premier ''the true negotiation starts now'', for Europe it is finishing, and very badly.

''I blame the government of Athens because it tells the public things that were never proposed by the Commission'', Juncker told a press conference, listing the 'lies' on talks told by Tsipras to the Greek population.

One concerned the VAT increase: ''I was never in favor of raising VAT on medicines and electricity and the premier knows this, I had proposed in exchange defense cuts, which are easier to implement'', he explained.

''I think the debate would be easier if the government spoke about things as they are'', he then cut short, adding that ''negotiations are at a standstill because they were not going anywhere''.

No Documents

Although the EU still says it is ''open to examine new proposals'', Athens has no intention of presenting any document, also because there are no margins for other concessions to creditors, explained Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

''Greece will bind itself to the measures proposed only if Europe will accept a debt restructuration, investments and the end of the liquidity crisis'', he told Spiegel online. But Europe has no intention of being 'blackmailed' by the Greeks and also remains firm in its positions.

Meanwhile, it is gearing up for the worst although Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to say she is concentrated with all her energy in finding a solution enabling Greece to remain in the euro.