Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has warned European leaders they must re-negotiate the country’s debt repayments, or face a rise in extremism. Varoufakis’s remarks come amid fears that Greece could default within weeks, leaving the continent in crisis again. CCTV’s Guy Henderson reported this story from Berlin.
Greece FM sees little traction in Germany on renegotiating debt repaymentsGreece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has warned European leaders they must re-negotiate the country's debt repayments, or face a rise in extremism. Varoufakis's remarks come amid fears that Greece could default within weeks, leaving the continent in crisis again. CCTV's Guy Henderson reported this story from Berlin.
Varoufakis drew comparisons with the growth of the Nazi party before World War II as he sought to convince Germany to soften his tough stance during a meeting in Berlin.
“We didn’t reach an agreement. It was never on the cards that we would. We didn’t even agree to disagree… From where I’m standing we agreed to enter into deliberations as partners with a joint orientation towards a European solution for European problems,” Varoufakis said.
His German counterpart was critical of Varoufakis’ plan.
“I am somewhat skeptical of the measures announced by Greece. Some of them do not exactly go in the direction we wish to see. I also told my colleague that we fully respect the mandate given by the Greek electorate – but the same is true the other way around. This is perfectly normal in democracies – you have to respect the mandate given by the electorate,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said.
On this week’s frantic European tour, Greece’s toughest convincing was to the European Central Bank.
Shortly after a meeting on Wednesday, the ECB announced an end to the current source of funding that is keeping Greece’s banks afloat.
Greece saw friendlier welcomes this week in Rome, but a split amongst Europe’s leaders looks increasingly unlikely.
On Thursday, France backed the ECB’s move.
With the current bailout deal expiring at the end of February, some believed the new Greek government will have no option but to accept an extension of the current deal. That may give Greece’s new parliament a chance to deflect the blame.
But the chances of a Greek exit from the Eurozone could be as close as its ever been.