Monday, March 16, 2015

Greek tactics annoying eurozone partners, says Belgium

Financial Times
March 16, 2015

Athens has “annoyed” and “frustrated” its eurozone partners with combative negotiating tactics, said Belgium’s finance minister, who warned Greece that the single currency could safely ride out its exit.

Johan Van Overtveldt, an economist who took charge of the finance ministry in the eurozone’s sixth-largest economy in October, said the currency bloc had sufficient safeguards in place to endure a Greek departure, adding he believed other ministers shared this view.

“What we have now in place would certainly allow us to survive that,” Mr Van Overtveldt said. “Nobody talks too much about that very openly, but my feeling is [the view] is quite present around the table.”

The new Greek government has singled out Berlin as its chief adversary in an acrimonious stand-off over how the cash-strapped government can access the remaining €7.2bn in its bailout programme.


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