There is definitely something going on in Athens. Forex tweeted an hour ago that Papademos has got a ‘ loan agreement’ that satisfies all the main Party chiefs. I wasn’t aware he was negotiating a loan from them too, but these are desperate times. This may, once again, be something and nothing. However, I’m now told that Papademos and Charles Dallara are in a one-on-one right now – prior (allegedly) to a media announcement scheduled for this evening.
The situation remains very confused, but I have spoken to the former Slog debt talks mole; his take on it – from a distance – is that this will be just another false dawn if the Troika don’t like it.
To recap on this three-dimensional poker game, Venizelos is dealing with the Troika, Papademos has been negotiating with the Party leaders, and as of about fifty minutes ago (16.30 GMT) he’s been working on Dallara. So far, nobody seems to be too concerned about Parliament and the People, and the Unions have already rejected the whole idea. So there are mirrors, but still no white smoke.
I’m just getting the word that there will ‘definitely’ be a Cabinet meeting tomorrow morning in Athens, at which ‘the deal’ will be approved. The only problem is, it’s still impossible to discern clearly what the deal is, who’s approved it, and whether it’s about Troika conditions or bondholder acquiescence. But compared to the last week, this is a breath of fresh air and crystal clarity.
Unsurprisingly, the Greek People are severely off-message. Scuffles broke out this afternoon as protesting strikers tried to climb steps leading to parliament, chanting: “No to mediaeval labour conditions, don’t bow your heads, show resistance!” My God, but Greek mobs are just so much more cultured than ours these days. However, some of them are spraying paint on the steps of the legislature, and German flags past and present are being burned. There doesn’t seem to be any of this on the BBC, or the FT. I wonder why?
Greek Ministers are saying this is White Smoke time. Their citizens see it as a White Flag moment. The latter is what I expected, but you never know in this saga.