Four-dimensional checkers: not easy to play
A largely expected, still not-so-healthy game of checkers is being played out between Greece and its Europeans creditors. (In fact, the game may well involve - in a different dimension - the IMF; a more difficult matter, checkers at three dimensions! If moreover one tries to integrate the markets, where Greece is expected to be heading, one gets a four-dimensional game; not really a game for normal people to play).
Τhe last two moves: no one knows who played first: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras made it known through an interview to Greek Sunday paper "ETHNOS" that whatever agreement were to be reached with creditors for the years after 2018 (when the current Adjustment Programme runs out), it would be implemented only after a substantial debt relief measures be decided by Greece's creditors and - yes! - implemented. From the European (=German) creditors' side, earlier demands of the IMF were upped: pension cuts of +/- 20% - a major element of the Programme review underway - would have to reach a 35% level to be acceptable.
Some days earlier, the IMF/the third dimension of the game had made its own move: it insisted that labour market measures (around which the Geek side tried to draw red lines), were of pre-eminent importance... Also the European (=Germans) raised once more the matter of energy markets.
All of this helped to wreck expectations that at least technical agreement between the parties was within reach: the ruling SYRIZA in Greece was convening its party organs for some sort of massage so as to make the agreement to be reached palatable.
More interestingly, the markets (the fourth dimension we were saying...) gave positive signs by lowering Greek bonds' yields. All of which once more receded by the latest moves on this three- (or four-) dimensional checkers board.