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article imageOp-Ed: Eurozone considers delaying loan to Greece until after elections

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 15, 2012 in World
The crucial date of March 20, much heralded as the date Greece must receive its next bail out loan to avoid a disorderly default, could well now be moved.
Reports indicate that some member nations of the eurozone are hoping to delay payment until after the Greek elections, leading to speculation that the idea of cutting Greece free from the eurozone is on the table.
The Guardian reported that German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed his doubt on Wednesday over Greece's commitment to stick to the deal that has been so long at the negotiating table. He said "When you look at the internal political discussions in Greece and the opinion polls, then you have to ask who will really guarantee after the elections – and I find that very alarming – that Greece continues to stand by what we are now agreeing with Greece."
According to Athens News the countries pushing to delay the payment are Germany, Finland and the Netherlands. All the negotiations have been completed apart from a final demand by the Troika that Greece finds another 365 million euro of cuts. Hoops have been jumped through, democratic principles over-ridden, and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has given his written commitment, so long a bone of contention, to abide by the Troika imposed austerity measures. Yet still several eurozone finance ministers are doubting Greece's commitment adhere to conditions which will enable the loan to be given.
Pushing the date back until after the elections will result in the saga continuing and further humiliation for Greece. Also no election date has been set, though an April date is anticipated, and there is no guarantee that an election will be held in a timely fashion. Greece will need to bear the cost of elections, whilst the electorate may not be able to afford the expense involved in returning to their home villages to cast their votes.
A push for a delay sends a clear signal that some eurozone countries would prefer Greece to exit the euro at this time, rather than hang in and require further inevitable bail outs necessary to make future interest payments on loans taken to pay off loans.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about greek debt crisis, Eurozone, bail out loan, Greek elections, president Karolos Papoulias
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