The Greek government’s optimism is based on specific facts and the progress made, government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said on Thursday, during the daily press briefing. The government’s aim is to have an agreement with the partners by Sunday, he noted.
The spokesman also suggested that statements by foreign officials saying they did not share the government’s optimism that an agreement is close are “not always neutral with respect to the negotiations underway” and may even be a lever of pressure for concessions in the talks. He stopped short, however, of terming such pressures on Greece “blackmail,” saying that this is a tactic the government will neither accept nor employ.
Responding to statements by institution representatives, who said that a lot of work remains to be done, Sakellaridis said the government is not drafting an agreement on its own: “We are not talking about two different documents, we are talking about a common text of the Greek government with the institutions. It is time we wrote on paper the points we agree on,” he said. He added that the government has submitted very realistic and specific proposals, on which the institutions’ technical staff has adopted positions, and that a constructive discussion is underway, “which makes us optimistic that in a short period of time there will be a good outcome and an agreement.”
Asked to comment on a European Central Bank (ECB) report claiming that the prospect of a Greek default is drawing near, he said that this is an outcome that all negotiating sides want to avoid and the government is doing everything possible to ensure that such a scenario cannot exist.
Sakellaridis also reassured that there is not the slightest reason for concern in relation to banks. Regarding the Balkans’ European perspective, he said that the Greek government has repeatedly stressed its importance. “Bodies imbued with other perceptions undermine this prospect,” he stated. He said that Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis enjoys the support of the Prime Minister, adding that the government, along with the partners, ensure that there is no possibility of default.