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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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"I wouldn't like it if the Greeks started telling me what to do"

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has expressed disappointment at a lack of resolution in the Greek situation.

IRELAND’S FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan has described his disappointment at the lack of a resolution in the Greek debt crisis.

He also stated that he had no opinion on Greece holding a referendum on the bailout deal it had been offered by its foreign creditors, saying, “I wouldn’t like it if the Greeks started telling me what to do”.

Speaking in Brussels earlier today, Noonan also spoke his personal relationship with Greek leader Alexis Tsipras and the potential for an extension of the Greek bailout deal. 

Disappointment

The Fine Gael TD expressed disappointment that negotiations this week could not bring about an agreement between the Greeks and the interested financial institutions.

Of the the situation within Greece, he said that he had “great sympathy for the Greek people”.

I don’t know what the next week holds. It is impossible to speculate. We are going into totally uncharted waters.

Negotiations on a potential extension to the current Greek bailout are taking place today, something on which Noonan said he was “open to persuasion in both directions”.

On his personal relationship with the Greek government, Noonan said that due to it being referred to as the Hellenic Republic in European meetings, their representatives sit next to Ireland.

On his relationship with Tsipras he said, “I find him affable and I mean you’ve seen from pictures in the media that we sit and talk to each other quite a bit.”

How the situation stands for Greece

Greece is set to hold its referendum on whether or not to accept a bailout deal on 5 July.

This followed a late night cabinet meeting yesterday. Without agreeing to the deal – Greece could potentially run out of capital, default on its loans and leave the euro currency.

Earlier yesterday, the country turned down an offer of a five-month, €12 billion extension of its bailout programme – saying the terms offered by the institutions were not acceptable.

Read: The first time Greece defaulted was more than 2,000 years ago

Also: “Let the people decide” – Greece will hold referendum on bailout deal

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