Window opens for a Greek solution

THE suggestion that the European Central Bank has agreed to raise the cap on emergency funding for the Greek banking sector may do little more that defer the unavoidable day of reckoning, but it is an infinitely better decision than any of the alternatives immediately available.

Window opens for a Greek solution

That particular window opens amid increasing concerns about the stability of Greece’s financial sector after ECB president Mario Draghi told Thursday night’s Eurogroup meeting that Greek banks might not open on Monday.

Deposits, which have drained from Greek accounts since political uncertainty was sparked in December, have continued to seep from Greek banks this week. Up to €1bn is believed to have been withdrawn on Thursday. The next decisive event will be Monday night’s emergency summit of Eurozone leaders, though the intervention of Russia hardly seems an ideal development. Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras met president Vladimir Putin yesterday, during the second day of his two-day visit to Russia.

Nevertheless, Greece seems to have worn out the patience of those in a position to help the bankrupt country. That help may, according to Greeks, come at too high a price, but to the rest of Europe the idea of pretty basic pension reform, apparently the main sticking point in negotiations, hardly seems an issue that would force the Spartans to block the pass of Thermopylae one more time.

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