Greek finance minister calls bailout proposals 'clearly unviable' as last minute crisis talks in Brussels stall ahead of deadline

Yanis Varoufakis said that Greece was committed to staying in the eurozone

Alexander Ward
Saturday 27 June 2015 00:28
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Jeroen Dijsselbloem, (L) head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after their common press conference at the ministry in Athens. Greece's government will not cooperate with the EU and IMF miss
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, (L) head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after their common press conference at the ministry in Athens. Greece's government will not cooperate with the EU and IMF miss

Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has labelled proposals from the debt-stricken nations’s creditors as “clearly unviable,” the day after crisis talks in Brussels broke down.

Mr Varoufakis, claimed that the Greek government had “bent over backwards to accommodate some rather strange demands by the institutions” and that it was “now up to them to come to the party”.

In an interview with Irish radio broadcaster RTE, Mr Varoufakis maintained that Greece was fully committed to staying within the European Union and said that the country had a responsibility not to take on more debt.”

“I couldn’t put it more strongly than to say that our commitment to the eurozone is absolute,” Mr Varoufakis told RTE.

“As a debtor I think that I have a duty not to take on more loan tranches unless there is a chance that these debts will be repaid.

“When I am asked to put my signature on the dotted line of an agreement which is clearly unviable I am not going to do this.”

The Greek finance minister added that the proposals set forward by his government had been very sensible and down to earth, noting that “what we are asking is that we take our debt from one European pocket and put it in the other… in order to smooth out a very spikey debt repayment proposal for the benefit of our creditors”.

The comments come as Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, said that he did not understand the need for harsh austerity measures to be forced upon Greece by its creditors as part of a bailout plan.

Negotiations are currently at a halt over which economic reforms Greece must make in order to secure additional bailout funds and avoid default.

Without the loans, Greece currently faces the prospect of bankruptcy and an exit from the single currency, a move that could push the country back into a deep recession.

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