Geithner envoy ‘assured Athens of US support on return to drachma’ – [The Slog]


The US Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Finance Charles Collyns had a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras in Athens on Wednesday morning. The official Greek media version was that Collyns ‘expressed the support of US-Finance Secretary Tomothy Geithner to Greece and his confidence in Greek efforts. Yinannis Stournas briefed Collyns on the situation of the Greek fiscal condition, and the key challenges of the Greek economy’.

In fact, Washington sources told The Slog last night BST that Collyns – a confidante of both Geithner and Stournas – was on a specific mission to impress on Greek Finance bosses the US Treasury’s sincerity in offering Greece “almost unqualified support in the event of a return to the drachma”. The White House is betting on the strong likelihood of Greece becoming formally insolvent before any more bailout monies are available from Berlin-am-Brussels.

Charles Collyns is uniquely placed to deliver the message credibly to the Athens government: he was at the IMF for many years, and is a personal friend of Geithner going back a long way;  but significantly, he is also an old classmate and close friend of Yiannis Stournaras himself.

As The Slog reported earlier his year  US Government covertly attempted toisolate Greece from the eurozone last March, in a bid to both make the country an important and loyal base for military intervention against enemies in the region, and itself play a beneficial role in the exploitation of Greece’s energy and mineral assets under the Aegean ocean. This move shows that the Obama White House remains determined to follow this course of action. A number of informed sources in Europe believe that the Greeks have had all the EFSF monies they’re going to get. On that basis, they would probably default on or around August 20th.

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