ECONOMY

FinMin sources say gov’t ‘not bluffing’ in opposing austerity

Even as Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis indicated in comments on his blog that Greece was prepared to compromise on certain reforms to reach a deal with creditors, ministry sources said that Athens was “not bluffing” in opposing tough measures and was intent on protecting the country’s interests.

“If our partners and the institutions insist on further austerity in a country which has already suffered massive losses from the greatest austerity in economic history, then the government will answer with a resounding ‘no’,” ministry sources said as eurozone Finance Ministers began to gather in Riga, Latvia, for a session that was expected to take stock of Greek reform negotiations but not to release any rescue loans.

“The Greek government is not bluffing, but strongly defending the interests of the country and the tradition of democracy in Greece,” the sources said. “If they threaten us with extra-institutional moves that will put at risk Greece’s position in the eurozone, then they act against Europe’s own interests,” the sources said.