ATHENS, March 12 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is pursuing a restrictive policy on Greece to exert pressure on Athens and its official lenders to agree on a path that will lead the country out of its crisis, Greece’s finance minister said on Thursday.
“The ECB in my opinion is pursuing a policy that can be considered asphyxiating toward our government,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Greece’s Mega TV in an interview.
The ECB has refused to give Athens any leeway to issue short-term debt to meet its funding needs amid a cash crunch as leftover bailout funds remain on hold.
Varoufakis said the ECB’s stance is also aimed at Greece’s euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund funding its bailout, as a way to also force them to find a solution with Athens.
Asked about his relationship with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the minister said: “Mr. Schaeuble has told me I have lost the trust of the German government, I have told him that I never had it.” (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by G Crosse)