Greece is saved! While the payment of a new loan of EUR 8.5 billion, decided by the euro area on June 15 was blocked in extremis Wednesday, it was learned Friday that the green light was finally unleashed for this loan, ” which opens a new chapter for Greece, “has even enthused Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic affairs.
Looked at more closely, however, there is no room for complacency. First of all, only be paid in the short term, 7.7 billion of which Athens will not see color: soon collected, most of this money back in the pockets illico creditors.
To avoid default, Greece must honor indeed Emergency 7 billion debt of its debt maturing this month. The rest of the payment will not be granted before September 1. For the “new chapter” will, therefore, require minimum to spend the summer.
But this ballet wishful thinking and false promises, which is played every time, why not have expected Friday to release the funds available from Wednesday?
Vis-à-vis the Government of discontent Alexis Tsipras? That’s a long time since the former hero of the radical left has given up resisting creditors. And this time again he had anticipated expectations by a vote from early June to further declines in wages and pensions. But why such a postponement of two days?
It was simply to ensure that the Greek justice would mix over the management of the privatization of entire sectors of the national economy and heritage of the country, required by these creditors.
Three technical experts Taipei, the body set up to manage the privatization, were in fact, until recently, subject to criminal prosecution.
At issue: how was managed in 2014 the sale of 28 properties for a large number of ministries and public facilities. The total price of the transaction for the benefit of two private operators (Eurobank Property and Ethniki Pangea) 261 million.
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To prevent the removal of the many services involved, it was envisaged that the new owners would rent these buildings to those who occupy them. For twenty years. After this period, the Greek state could buy these properties at a current market price.
Unless a group of Piraeus lawyers will challenge the transaction and show how the total sales price already undervalued, according to them, proved moreover significantly less than the total rent collected during the period (580 million euros). The Greek state was therefore losing, they felt, conclusion set by prosecutors in an indictment of 200 pages.
In addition, the Purchasers have received additional clause stipulating that the possible takeover by the Greek state would be exempt from any tax or duty. As many additional losses to the treasury.
At the end of the preliminary investigation proceedings have therefore been initiated. Especially against a Spaniard, an Italian and Slovak, all advisers to Taipei at the material time. Recall that Taipei no accountability nor the Greek Parliament nor the government on how it handles privatizations. A true model of transparency so.
But after the announcement of proceedings, members of the Eurogroup demanded and obtained in 2016 the impunity of members of Taipei. It remained to settle the lawsuit.
On 15 June in Luxembourg, at the time when finalizing the agreement for 8.5 billion euros, the Spanish Minister of Finance, Luis de Guindos had banged his fist on the table, threatening to block the aid if the charges were not dropped. Obviously, the Greek representatives had to give that day some guarantees on their ability to block the action of justice, since the money was released. Moreover, less than two weeks later, the Greek Supreme Court, requested by the lawyers of the three experts, canceling outright prosecution. This does not prevent the same day, Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis to give a layer highlighting publicly his hope that “the record of three experts will soon be resolved.”
But he had obviously been certain that the case would not be repeated. Which justified the suspense started Wednesday. “They had to have guarantees on the application of immunity” suggests from Athens, political analyst Georges Seferzis.
Which concedes: “It is normal since they are trying to protect those responsible for making such decisions. Otherwise, nobody will dare sign such transactions for fear of further action. “Especially as malfunctions and the selling off at prices lower than their value is not limited to these 28 buildings. Is it provided an obstruction of justice, supposed to be independent? “It’s hard to deny it,” admits the same analyst.
But why no outcry in Greece? “People are tired and disenchanted cynicism against them. They have no hope in anything. “And outside of Greece? Many people are content words of Pierre Moscovici, which predicted Friday with joy Greece a bright future “whose words are: employment, investment, and recovery, to the benefit of all.” It seems that everyone is not the same sounds on coffee grounds.