Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was today accused of being a “time-waster, a gambler and an amateur” as the crucial Eurogroup meeting on his country’s reform proposals continues in the Latvian capital, Riga.
The comments, reported by Bloomberg, show just how wide the divide between European finance ministers remains as negotiations over providing then next tranche of bailout funds to the cash-strapped Greek government continue.
Underlining these concerns Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said at a press conference on Friday that there were “positive signs, but still wide differences to bridge on substance”. He added:
“We are all aware that time is running out…[and] too much time has been lost”
In a blog post released earlier today, Varoufakis made clear that there was still a lot of ground between the two sides — although progress had been made. He notes that “our partners already agree on much” but goes on to rule out further wage cuts and cuts in pensions stating that they are not on the agenda for the Greek government.
More controversially, he calls for the institutions-formerly-known-as-the-Troika to “let go of an approach that has failed” arguing that the reforms agreed under Greece’s 2012 agreement would fail to put the country back on the road to recovery.
This latest release is likely to have done little to sooth nerves among those who fear that the gap between the two sides remains too large to bridge before the government in Athens runs out of money to meet its bills. The fact that almost all the representatives speaking at the press conference stressed that “time is running out” suggests that patience may also be wearing thin.
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