German Finance Minister Highlights Differences With Greece before Key Meeting

Mr. Schaeble stated in Brussels just before engaging in another round of talks with the Greek government that as long

ancient greekAs the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is on the wires, the expectations for any type of a deal between the Euro zone creditor nations, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank on one side and the Greek government on the other have gotten subdued.

Speaking from Brussels, where European political leaders will aim to hammer out a deal with Greece about its debt burden, Mr. Schaeuble said, “What I heard so far didn’t strengthen my optimism about Greece. As long as the Greek government doesn’t want a programme, I don’t have to think about options.”

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The rhetoric comes after heated negotiations last week, which resulted in no material progress. While the Greek government wants an extension of 6 months to its current program, until it comes with some specific proposals, it is essentially asking for trust which it hasn’t earned.

Slovak FinMin Kazimir said on his Twitter account, “We’re clearly heading towards tough, complicated, emotional negotiations with Greece. It’s hard to tell what will happen at tonight’s Eurogroup meeting.”

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Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis New York Times Op-Ed

Writing an opinion piece for the New York Times, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varouvakis, said, “It would be pure folly to think of the current deliberations between Greece and our partners as a bargaining game to be won or lost via bluffs and tactical subterfuge.”

He explains that his government intends to take no more loans from its creditors, until it has a clear pathway about its future growth strategy.

“The ‘extend and pretend’ game that began after Greece’s public debt became unserviceable in 2010 will end. No more ‘reform’ programs that target poor pensioners and family-owned pharmacies while leaving large-scale corruption untouched,” Varoufakis outlines.

 

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