Greek accord a question of wording, says French finance minister

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Tuesday there was a consensus with Greece on issues such as debt and ruling out a haircut and reaching an agreement was mainly about wording.

“It is a problem of wording, although the legal tool cannot be anything else than an extension of the programme. What (Greek finance Minister Yanis) Varoufakis has told us, what I have understood, is that he agrees in principle with the extension of the programme,” Sapin told reporters.

He said that Greece could keep a primary budget surplus at 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, but not lower, for as long as the programme extension lasted. “Everyone agrees on this: you have a 1.5 percent primary surplus, you cannot do anything in this period that worsens that surplus,” he said.