SMS helps to prevent ‘Grexit’

The recent Greek bailout resolution owes a debt of gratitude to a somewhat unexpected source: the humble text message.

With the dust settling on Europe’s resolution and finer details starting to emerge, it’s transpired the knife-edge talks would have crumbled were it not for a text sent by Dutch premier Mark Rutte, notes.

Late into closed-door discussions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had failed to reach a resolution, with the sticking point being a percentage of bailout funds that would go towards Green investments. Seeing no way out, the leaders were about to go their separate ways.

Then, from outside the room, Rutte thought of a resolution to the issue, which he duly texted to EU president Donald Tusk – who put it to the others. Rutte’s input had the desired effect, eventually prompting the leaders to reach an agreement. After hours of secretive deliberation and talks, the idea ended up being sent in a text message.

This extraordinary turn of events emerged from the publication of interviews with a number of EU officials, who have given snapshots of what went on during the monumental talks, as everything up to now had been kept secret.

The message in question solved the issue of Tsipras asking for 25 billion euros to be made available for investments; Merkel was only prepared to offer 10 billion. Rutte said 12.5 billion euros should go towards investments, with an additional 37.5 billion being used to pay off debts. Whilst this might not be what was eventually agreed, it kickstarted a series of events that finally led to resolution.