(Feb 21 update: On Twitter, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis denied the following report.)
The Greek debt crisis was reportedly close to coming to physical blows earlier this week.
The French paper Libération reported Wednesday that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis got into a heated confrontation with Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Monday afternoon at the meeting of European finance ministers trying to hammer out a deal on the Greek bailout.
As a result of the altercation, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble refuses to speak to his Greek counterpart.
Here is a translated part of the intro text of the Libération post:
“Liar!” yelled Yanis Varoufakis, full of rage. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, accustomed to the usual courtesy that exists within the club of finance ministers of the euro area, was livid. The Dutchman, president of the Eurogroup, seemed fragile faced by the massive Greek Finance Minister, who is physically similar to Bruce Willis. “It was incredible. We really thought they would come to blows,” said a witness at the scene.
And here’s more translated from part of the Libération audio report:
Informed of the incident, Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, no longer wants to speak with Yanis Varoufakis, which really bothers the other members of the Eurogroup because it won’t be easy to put them in the same room in the future. That’s all to explain the degree of high tension we’ve gotten to.
And here’s the Greek Finance Minister on Twitter to clear it all up:
@businessinsider I have bad news for you: You report is fake. Never was there such a moment between Jeroen and me. Sorry to disappoint.
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) February 21, 2015
Perhaps this informs why there have been so many leaked letters to the press. In any case, things are impassioned in Europe.
(Feb 21 update: On Twitter, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis denied this report.)