Greek Finance Minister: It's not complicated -- we just have to convince our creditors we're right, and they have to realise they're wrong

Yanis Varoufakis greeceREUTERS/Yves HermanGreek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, is back to blogging.

He posted on Project Syndicate Thursday, laying out his government’s position and attempting to explain why there still hasn’t been an agreement between Greece and its creditors.

He says, essentially, that it’s not impossible for the two sides to reach a deal — if only the troika (the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF) would shift their position over a bit more toward Greece:

The current disagreements with our partners are not unbridgeable. Our government is eager to rationalize the pension system (for example, by limiting early retirement), proceed with partial privatization of public assets, address the non-performing loans that are clogging the economy’s credit circuits, create a fully independent tax commission, and boost entrepreneurship. The differences that remain concern how we understand the relationships between the various reforms and the macro environment.

None of this means that common ground cannot be achieved immediately. The Greek government wants a fiscal-consolidation path that makes sense, and we want reforms that all sides believe are important. Our task is to convince our partners that our undertakings are strategic, rather than tactical, and that our logic is sound. Their task is to let go of an approach that has failed.

Get that last part? “Strategic” is another way of emphasising the long term, while “tactical” emphasises the short term. To put it another way: Greece’s task is to convince the troika that Greece is right because it’s thinking long term. The troika’s task is to just stop being wrong.

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