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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La Grèce veut en finir avec la troïka

Greece wants to be done with Troïka

The head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, during their joint news conference, Friday, January 30, Athens Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP

Translated Saturday 7 February 2015, by Khalil Rahman

The Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis reiterated on Friday, before the head of the eurozone Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the desire of his government to renounce the seven billion euros expected in late February.

Yanis Varoufakis officially reiterated before the head of the eurozone Jeroen Dijsselbloem remarks made by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and by himself for several days. Greece wants to have "the greatest cooperation with the institutions" such as the EU, the ECB and the IMF, but does not "intend to cooperate" with what he called "a tripartite delegation, anti-European, built on a shaky foundation”, the troika.

The Greek Finance Minister, speaking at a joint press conference with the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, while visiting Athens, explained that Greek voters had mandated the new government on this basis. "This election platform has earned us the trust of the Greek people. Our first government initiative will not reject the logic of questioning the program (financial assistance) requesting the extension," he said. While speaking to the New York Times on Thursday, he indicated: "the seven billion we do not want, what we want is to rethink the entire program." Already last week, still candidate, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that as of February "meant nothing and was just intended to create a sense of urgency for the next government."

During the joint press conference with Yanis Varoufakis, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who had previously met Alexis Tsipras, became very tense, can recall only that "ignoring the agreements is not the right path to take." Varoufakis and Dijsselbloem both described as having "constructive" discussions, which each lasted an hour. But their exchanges seem to have reconciled the divergent positions of the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who wants to turn the page after five years of austerity and renegotiate debt representing 175% of GDP, and its European partners, who believe that Athens must meet its obligations.

Yanis Varoufakis, who has multiplied the number of rendez-vous since the formation of the government, announced that he will meet his counterpart Michel Sapin at 17h on Sunday in Paris (originally scheduled meeting was Monday afternoon) before going to London to meet the UK Minister of Treasury George Osborne and investors.

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