In what The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott is calling a “white flag [being] raised over Athens,” Greece has requested a six-month extension to its bailout plan, essentially giving in to the eurozone finance ministers’ demands for austerity. Germany, however, refused the country’s proposal Thursday. As Elliott put it even before Germany’s rejection, this all just goes to show that “the troika did not really want to negotiate with Syriza — it wanted capitulation.”

To follow The Guardian’s live updates on the negotiations, click here.

Here’s another snippet form Elliott’s analysis of Greece’s extension proposal:

Greece has bowed to the intense pressure of its eurozone partners and will stick to austerity. After defiantly saying for the past three weeks that it will end the country’s fiscal waterboarding, the Syriza-led government is suing for peace.

That, bluntly, is the only way to interpret news that Greece has formally asked for a six-month extension to its bailout agreement. There is no longer the pretence that the bailout is to be replaced by a loan agreement with no strings attached. The hated troika of the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will be monitoring Greece’s economy for the next six months, something that has been anathema to Syriza until now.

The Greek government has some demands of its own. It wants to negotiate a new growth deal for the four years until 2019. It is asking for debt relief under the terms of the bailout agreement signed in November 2012. And it wants to be able to take steps to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by the 25% collapse in the size of the economy over the past five years.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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