Geert Vanden Wijngaert

Noonan reckons the Greek Finance Minister is 'a bit of a rock star'

He also added that Ireland did ask for a debt write down by suggesting ways forward that would result in one.

THE GREEK GOVERNMENT has until Monday to provide policy measures to the Troika to ensure it complies with the conditions to extend its existing bailout deal.

An agreement was made yesterday to extend the country’s rescue loans by four months.

The deal removed the risk of Greece running out of money next month and possibly being forced out of the currency area.

Speaking to Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said, “They will get an extension in their programme if they come forward with sufficient conditions by Monday night next to make the programme successful.

Byrne remarked that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis seemed to have ‘a bit of a swagger’ and asked Noonan what he thought of him:

He’s a bit of a rock star, I wouldn’t have the same sense of fashion.

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“He reminds me a lot of when RTE used to bring in academic economists and experts…they were very good in theory but they weren’t very good in practice.”

Noonan was also asked if Ireland had asked for a debt write down, he said:

“We asked for a debt write down but not in so many words. We asked for a debt write down by suggesting ways forward that would result in a debt write down.

I asked Mister Trichet for his approval to burn the single bondholders…he refused.

“We pursued it to the point where to act unilaterally would have risked the country and I wasn’t prepared to do that.”

‘Good compromise’

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January on a pledge to tear up Greek’s hated bailout programme. He will now have to persuade Greeks that it is the best deal possible.

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He’s meeting his inner cabinet of 10 ministers today to draft a creditable reform proposal.

French President Francois Hollande described the deal for Greece as a “good compromise”,

The right solution is to extend the finance allowing Greece to ensure its transition and honour its commitments.

“The right solution is also to give Greece the time it needs to launch its reforms while retaining the confidence of Greek voters,” he added.

Read: It’s a deal: Greece and Eurozone ministers agree on bailout extension>

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