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Still No Deal, Still EU Hard Line on Greek Debt

June 23, 2015 (EIRNS)—There is still no agreement between the European Union and Greece, as much as some people are saying one will be hammered out in a few days. The real issue is the debt.

Lyndon LaRouche commented today that there are, in fact, no meaningful negotiations underway, because the EU insists on imposing policies which are a crime, which the Greeks continue to reject. If the end of the month is reached this way, LaRouche stated, then the entire EU system will go down, and with it Wall Street and the City of London.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras issued a statement saying,

"Our proposal has been accepted as the basis for discussion by the institutions. Negotiations will continue over the next two days. We don’t want a fragmented deal that is only for a limited time. We want a complete and viable solution."

He continued,

"For the first time, the burden will not lie on workers and pensioners. We are protecting middle-class families, and, for the first time, the burden will lie on those who can pay, so we can finally leave this crisis which has afflicted us for five years,"

he added.

The big issue on which all the EU leaders remain silent is the question of the debt, which is a key demand of the Greeks. Tsipras’s assertion that the ball was in the court of the EU leaders, is being interpreted as being related to the debt issue; implying that if there is no statement on the debt, then there would be no deal. The deadline, if there is in fact a deadline, is Wednesday, June 24, when the Eurogroup meets again.

On the debt, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "This is not an urgent question." German Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel, sounding more and more like Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, also said he does not support a haircut, and that Germany and Europe will not be blackmailed by Greece [sic].

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said this "wasn’t the time to discuss" the debt question.

"Extending repayment deadlines, or restructuring the debt— this can only come at the second stage," French President Francois Hollande told reporters. "The debt subject is not in the discussion (for now) ... but it must be signalled to be raised later,"

after a short-term deal with Athens, he said.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, during his meeting with Tsipras, delivered a de facto threat, saying funding of Greek banks was assured only until the end of the month, and thereafter, only if an agreement is signed. Tsipras reportedly mentioned the Greek bonds valued at €27 billion which had been bought by the Central Bank when Jean-Claude Trichet was at the helm, and whose repayment is now pending.