Hellenic Hubris

The Trojan Rescue Plan

Yanis Greece Reuters
Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's combatitive finance minister.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Greece needs to access more funding as its coffers rapidly empty. Issuing threats, however, is unlikely to go down well in Brussels or Berlin.

  • Facts


    • In February, Athens reached a deal with its partners to extend its bailout until June.
    • Greece sent a list of seven reform proposals to Brussels last week.
    • The troika of lenders, the ECB, E.U. and IMF, want to send officials to Greece to assess its true financial situation.
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The Greeks are not prepared to take their medicine quietly.

The Athens government needs money, but is still trying to set the rules and conditions on the funds it needs to keep afloat.

As the euro zone’s 19 finance ministers gather in Brussels today to discuss Greece again, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has threatened to hold a national referendum or a new election if the rest of Europe does not accept Syriza’s reform proposals.

Syriza came to power in January promising to abandon austerity measures but two weeks ago appeared to strike a tentative deal with creditors to continue the hated reforms in exchange for more money.

Greece’s lenders told the nation it had until the end of April to clarify which reforms it planned to make in exchange for further aid.

Last Thursday, Mr. Varoufakis sent a letter to Brussels outlining his reform plans. In an interview over the weekend with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, he threatened his lenders once again if they rejected the country’s reform plans.

“We are not yet glued to our chairs. We can return to elections, call a referendum,” Mr. Varoufakis told the newspaper.

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