Monday 26th September 2016                 Change text size:

Greece can ‘forge a good agreement’ says finance minister



Yanis Varoufakis by EU Council Eurozone via Flickr

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has insisted that the debt-ridden country can reach a deal, but warned that the Eurozone was “dangerously close” to accepting an accident.

Varoufakis warned that the Eurozone was “dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident”.

He said, “I urge my colleagues not to fall prey to this state of mind. We can forge a good agreement”.

His comments come after the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – one of Greece’s three creditors – said that no further deadline extension would be given on the present €1.6bn loan repayment due on 30 June.

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras has repeatedly insisted that there would be a solution to the debt crisis, but his difficulty is that he was given a mandate to bring an end to austerity in the country, but creditors have insisted that in order to reach a further bailout deal, the administration must implement further reforms of the labour and pensions markets.

An emergency summit will be held on Monday after a last ditch attempt to come to an agreement at a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Thursday failed.

Greece’s situation in recent months has been less than smooth. With Tsipras elected in January on the mandate of bringing an end to austerity and reduce the country’s debt, and creditors that have so far been unwilling to compromise on key areas such as pension reductions and labour deregulation, the challenges have been tough for Greece’s new government.

But this week, the situation intensified after Greek talks failed time and again to forge an agreement with the three creditors – the IMF, European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC).

There have been suggestions from lawmakers within the Greek government that Tsipras should call a snap poll or a referendum if talks fail. Deputy speaker of the Greek parliament Alexis Mitropoulos said on Monday that the prime minister must return to the people to decide the future of the country, whether that be inside or outside the European Union.

Image: EU Council Eurozone via Flickr

Further reading:

Austrian chancellor offers solidarity to Athens

Tsipras pushes for debt relief in defiant speech to MPs

Greece remains in deadlock with creditors as exit fears grow

IMF walks away from Greece talks

Tsipras warns of Eurozone chaos amid fears of Grexit


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