[Marxism] "April 8-9: Two Crucial Days for Greece"; recognizing Palestine

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 11:35:44 MDT 2015

April 8-9: Two Crucial Days for Greece
by Philip Chrysopoulos
Greek Reporter, April 3, 2015

April 8-9 are two crucial days for Greece: On April 8 the Euro Working
Group will convene to review the list of proposals sent by the finance
ministry and on April 9 Athens has a 448-million-euro payment due to
the International Monetary Fund.

Also, on April 9 there is a meeting of the European Central Bank Board
of Directors, where the Greek issue will be discussed as well.

According to a Reuters report on Thursday, Athens will be out of cash
on April 9, after the payment to the IMF. In addition to that, in an
interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Greek Interior Minister
Nikos Voutsis explained that if the country’s creditors would not
unlock further funds by April 9, the government would first pay
salaries and pensions and then come to an agreement on making a late
payment to the IMF.

Government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis spoke to Bloomberg and
ruled out such a scenario saying that “there is no chance that Greece
will not meet its obligations to the IMF on April 9.”

The payment to the IMF is going to be the next financial test for
Greece, which has already borrowed from state entities to avoid a cash
crunch. According to previous reports, Greece will run out of money by
April 20 if it does not receive fresh financial aid from its
creditors. At the same time, its lenders have frozen aid until it
implements reforms, currently being negotiated between Athens and the
institutions participating in Greece’s bailout program.

This makes the meeting of the Euro Working Group extremely important
for Greece that desperately needs a part of the 7.2-billion-euros
tranche of the bailout program. Eurogroup President Jeroen
Dijsselbloem said that negotiations are on a good path but they will
take some more time and Athens needs to make more reforms.

According to government sources, Greece is willing to make concessions
in the insurance funds reforms in order to expedite the release of
funds from lenders.

On a political level, on April 8 Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is
meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. There is a
lot of speculation on the particular meeting, although it is very
unlikely that there would be any financial outcome.


Syriza supports recognising Palestine
EurActiv.com, April 3

The Greek government is committed to recognising Palestine, said
Syriza MEP Sofia Sakorafa. EurActiv Greece reports.

In an interview with EurActiv Greece, the lawmaker said that 138
countries within the UN are in favour of the request to upgrade the
Palestinian Authority to a state, and dozens of national parliaments
have already done so.

In the EU, Sweden unilaterally recognized Palestine in October 2014,
while similar, non-binding votes have taken place in the parliaments
of France, the UK, Ireland and Spain.

“There is a fixed commitment of the Greek government to recognize
Palestine as a state [...] I estimate that very soon the Greek
government will also raise the issue. Schematically-speaking, once it
takes a breath from the suffocation,” Sakorafa underlined, referring
to the tough negotiations between Athens and the so-called "Troika" on
the future of the cash-strapped country.

Last December, the European Parliament approved a non-binding
resolution calling for international recognition of Palestinian

The carefully-worded measure, initially proposed by S&D [Progressive
Alliance of Socialists and Democrats bloc in European Parliament],
ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe] and the Greens,
promoted "recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state
solution," and "believes these should go hand in hand with the
development of peace talks, which should be advanced."

Such a move by Syriza would probably put it at odds with its coalition
partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks.

Defence Minister and Independent Greeks chief Panos Kammenos recently
spoke in favour of continuing defence cooperation with Israel, as well
as trilateral cooperation with Nicosia and Tel Aviv.

“We will continue the cooperation both on a political and military
level,” he said in February, after a meeting with Israel's ambassador
to Greece.

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