Greece has moved another step closer to default:
The leftist leader [Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras] flew to Brussels for a crunch meeting with the heads of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank before eurozone finance ministers try to thrash out an agreement.
But at the last minute Athens said it had rejected new proposals that the EU-IMF lenders had issued in response to the eleventh-hour reform plan submitted by Greece this week to win approval for vital bailout funds.
Hardline Germany said there was a long way to go before any deal, while eurozone stocks dipped over doubts that an accord will be ready for EU leaders to rubber-stamp at a summit on Thursday.
“This strange position maybe hides two things: either they do not want an agreement or they are serving specific interests in Greece,” Tsipras said just minutes before the talks.
“The repeated rejection of equivalent measures by certain institutions never occurred before — neither in Ireland nor Portugal,” he tweeted, referring to bailouts to those two countries.
You get the feeling Tsipras is engaging in the age-old negotiating tactic of brinksmanship, hoping to scare Brussels (well, Berlin really) into a better deal for Greece. But make no mistake that the endgame remains the same, with a Greek default, whether orderly or not, likely followed by exit from the eurozone and possible partial entry into Russia’s sphere in influence.
Because the fact is that not only is Greece out of other people’s money, but the other people are just about out of their own money.