The ball is in Greece’s court.
That is the clear message after talks broke up overnight earlier than expected and with no agreement.
Jereon Dijsselboem, chair of the Eurozone Finance Ministers Committee, told a news conference after the meeting: “There was a very strong opinion across the eurogroup that the next step has to come from the Greek authorities.”
As the expiry of the current hundreds of billion euro bailout package looms at the end of the month, time is becoming critical. Dijesselboem said there is about a week of negotiating time, “but that’s about it”.
But holding out what appeared to be an olive branch, Dijsselboem said “we simply need more time. The best way to do that is to extend the current programme.”
To which Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis replied: “I have no doubt there is going to be an agreement in the end.”
But Varoufakis is a man torn in two.
Over the weekend he made soothing sounds about Greece being better in Europe in an interview with the Guardian on Saturday.
Overnight however, in a New York Times Op-ed, he also said: “The lines that we have presented as red will not be crossed. Otherwise, they would not be truly red, but merely a bluff. ”
He has expressly stated that this is not some game theory experiment. But his latest statements show the internal battle is still raging – in Varoufakis, as much as Europe.
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