Obama calls on Greek government to make economic reforms and end bailout crisis
ANKARA – Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said that “Nazis” were out to get Greece, forcing the country into economic hardship.
In a speech in Berlin late Monday night, Varoufakis said: “If you continue to squeeze our population into misery, we will not be reformable ever.” He claimed that Greek children are dying from malnutrition because of the harsh demands for spending cuts by the country’s creditors.
Germany holds the largest share of Greek debt under the bailout program that was established in 2010.
Varoufakis said that a deal could worked out “in one evening,” but the creditors would not accede to the Greek government demand for debt relief.
Varoufakis will not take part directly in the negotiations in Brussels on Wednesday between the Greek delegation and the Eurogroup.
Separately, President Barack Obama called on the Greek government to make “necessary” economic reforms and to end the bailout crisis.
Speaking at the G7 conference on Monday, Obama said: “The Greeks are going to have to follow through and make some tough political choices that will be good for them long-term. What it’s going to require is Greece being serious about making some important reforms, not only to satisfy creditors, but more importantly, to create a platform whereby the Greek economy can start growing again.”
Obama also called on Greece’s creditors to be “flexible” and to work intensely for an agreement.
Greece has until the end of June to make a payment of about $2 billion to the International Monetary Fund. The Greek government delayed making the first of these payments on June 5.
The Greek government is currently dependent on emergency loans from the European Central Bank to run its banks and public services.