Gold eased back on Monday trading from Friday’s gains. Despite weak U.S. economic data and EU tension over Greece, investors are looking to cash in on Friday’s profits. Gold last reported p.m. is $1184.40 and silver is $16.33.
Greece and its EU creditors walked away once again from today’s meeting as neither side could reach an acceptable deal. The following statement was released after the meeting:
The Eurogroup took stock today of the state of play with the ongoing negotiations with Greek authorities and EU institutions. We welcomed the progress that has been achieved so far. “There has been no progress.” We note that the reorganization and streamlining of working procedures has made an acceleration possible, and had contributed to a more substantial discussion. At the same time, we acknowledged that more time and more effort are needed to bridge the gaps on the remaining open issues. We therefore welcome the intention of the Greek authorities to accelerate their work with EU institutions, with a view to achieving a successful conclusion of the review in a timely fashion.
The Eurogroup reiterated that its statement of February 20, remains the valid framework for the discussions. Once the institutions reach an agreement at the staff level on the conclusion of the current review, the Eurogroup will decide on the possible disbursement of funds outstanding under the current arrangement.
Athens has begun the transfer of 750 million euro in debt interest to the International Monetary Fund. Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis stated Greece is making progress but the country will face a cash crisis within a couple of weeks. He told reporters, “the liquidity issue is a terribly urgent issue. It’s common knowledge, let’s not beat around the bush.”
Prime Minister Tsipras maintains he will not break anti-austerity electoral promises raising the prospect of a referendum on any deal agreed to in Brussels.
Outspoken critic of Athens handling of reform negotiations, Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble said, “that if the Greek government thinks it should have a referendum, then it should have a referendum. Perhaps that could even be the right thing.”
Greece owes a total debt of 323 billion euro and without going into further debt to EU creditors the nation faces an impossible task. Germany, who is bearing the brunt of Greek accusations concerning atrocities committed in the second world war by the Nazi’s against Greece and its citizens is owed the most at 56 billion euro.
With a 25 percent fall in GDP since 2010 and an unemployment rate of 26 percent, Greece has no other alternative but to continue seeking EU assistance as the country moves further into insolvency.
A group of demonstrators occupied the Athens headquarters of German industrial group Siemens on Monday declaring, “we are not negotiating with domestic and foreign capitalists.” The group also threw flyers saying, “We won’t become a colony of Germany or any other imperialist power.”
The rhetoric is commendable but the Germans didn’t hold a gun to the head of Greece demanding the country accept loans. Blaming the EU, IMF or any other entity for lending you money that was readily accepted by your government doesn’t hold water.
It’s common knowledge that lenders expect to be repaid in the real world.
With U.S. current debt now over 18 trillion, how long can we continue kicking the can down the road? Will the dollar be a sound investment when it loses reserve currency status to China or another nation? Perpetual debt is a deadly course for an individual, corporation or country.
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