ECONOMY

Italy says no ‘Plan B’ on Greece, need quick deal on bailout

Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan added to calls on Greece to come up with proposals to open the way for a deal on fresh finance from international lenders, but said policy makers were not working on a scenario for Greece leaving the euro.

“As far as I’m aware, there is no Plan B on Greece,” Padoan told foreign journalists in Rome on Monday. “The aim is to get a rapid accord with Athens.”

He said the message to Greece was that much time had been wasted and the government needed to come up with detailed, concrete proposals rapidly.

However he denied press reports that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had faced personal attacks at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the weekend by counterparts frustrated by Greece’s negotiating stance.

He said that Italy was not at risk from the strained situation in Greece, saying conditions had changed since the acute phase of the euro zone crisis in 2012 when Greece’s problems created fears for the future of the single currency.

[Reuters]