BERLIN (Reuters) - Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a German newspaper interview that he is not planning to present new reform proposals at a Eurogroup meeting later this week, according to interview excerpts published on Tuesday.
Asked if he would present such a list, Varoufakis was quoted as saying: “No, because the Eurogroup (of euro zone finance ministers) is not the right place to present proposals which haven’t been discussed and negotiated on a lower level before.”
However, the Greek negotiation team is “available at any time” to find a comprehensive solution with its partners, Varoufakis said, adding that officials from the three institutions representing Greece’s lenders needed to come back to the negotiation table “with a clear, robust mandate”.
Varoufakis repeated his call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to give his country a “Speech of Hope”, to signal Europe was ready to end its demands for austerity, similar to that given to Germany at the end of World War Two.
On Monday, Greece and its creditors hardened their stances after the collapse of talks aimed at preventing a default and possible euro exit, prompting Germany’s EU commissioner to say the time had come to prepare for a “state of emergency”.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ignored pleas from European leaders to act fast. Instead he blamed creditors for Sunday’s breakdown of the cash-for-reform talks, the biggest setback in long-running negotiations to unlock aid.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Andrew Hay