Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis on Sunday will meet with his French counterpart Michel Sapin in Paris at 6:00 pm (Athens time). The two top officials will hold a joint press conference at 7:30 pm, according to Reuters.
“The country wants space, time and breathers,” said Varoufakis, adding that “there is no issue of tearing up the previous program” in an interview to the Saturday edition of newspaper “Agora.”
The Greek Finance Minister said that within the context of his meetings with his EU counterparts, there will be a meeting with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. He underlined that the Greek proposals on the debt issue have less cost to European tax payers in comparison to the creditors’ proposals and stated that “the State has continuity,” clarifying that a number of agreements made with private investors will not be touched.
“We will not tear up the previous program; there is no issue of asking for an extension of the previous program. Europe is very skillful in finding euphemisms and phrases that satisfy everyone,” noted Varoufakis, adding that “what is really needed is a ‘bridge’ between the old program, that we reject, and the new agreement after the completion of our negotiation.”
“What we really want,” said the Greek Finance Minister, “is a new ‘fiscal space,’ some breathers,” noting that “within the framework of this space and time we will be able to discuss with our partners in order to reach a new agreement that will essentially put an end to the Greek problem and will make the Greek social economy sustainable.”
At a question wether Greece will receive the installment, Varoufakis clarified “we will not take the tranche because it will mean that we accept the continuation of the program. It is frequently said that there is a February 28 deadline; we believe that this is an arbitrary deadline; it is a product of the former government’s political agreement with our partners. Where an issue will really exist is in June-July when the bonds that ECB has will mature. We want the negotiation to be completed until then and to have a new agreement in order to move on the right course afterwards.”