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Greece really, really wants to stay in the Eurozone after all

Syriza’s aggressive stance continues to soften in the wake of its loans being extended by the ECB

Image: Shutterstock/ivan bastien

GREECE WILL DO everything it can in its power to stay in the European Union according to finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV Varoufakis stressed that far from shirking their commitments, all that the Greek people want is to be treated with dignity.

“We have never said anything about leaving the Eurozone,” he said.

Our pledge to the Greek people is that we will do everything necessary to stay in it. The ECB is our central bank and we need a relationship with it.
We’ve been involved with the IMF since Bretton Woods in 1944, we’ve borrowed money from them and that’s a relationship that must continue also.

varoufakis Bloomberg Source: Bloomberg

The new government (led by Alex Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party) in the beleaguered country has softened its rhetoric slightly recently regarding its loans with the ECB, culminating in those loans being extended on Tuesday last.
We’re an EU member, a member of the Commission and that’s going to continue and our relationship is going to improve.
Our issue has never been the EU or the EC, it’s been the Troika. All they have done is make a bad thing worse.

Greece’s relationship with EU powerhouses Germany has been somewhat fraught since Syriza came to power on 25 January.

In recent times the German media, in particular tabloid Bild, has taken a firmly belligerent stance towards the lending of more money to Greece while they continue to resist austerity.

“We want to source a relationship with our creditors not just that we have to tolerate, but one that we actively seek,” said Varoufakis.

We extended the loan agreement because we want to change the conditions under which the loans were given.  They don’t allow us to grow sufficiently to repay our debts.
The reforms the ECB required of Syriza before extending the bailout loans include a commitment to improve tax collection in Greece and the implementation of a national plan against corruption.
Tax evasion in Greece is a notorious problem.
“We came in with a mandate to negotiate austerity – that has already been attained and the people know it,” said Varoufakis.

Read: Noonan reckons the Greek Finance Minister is ‘a bit of a rock star’

Read: Greece should take Ireland’s ‘middle road’ on debt – not the ‘nuclear option’

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