Greece’s creditors must ‘get their act together’, says Varoufakis

Greece’s creditors must “get their act together” and help produce a new loan deal for the cash-strapped country, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Tuesday.

“It’s about time the institutions, in particular the IMF, get their act together, and come to an agreement with us,” the outspoken Varoufakis told CNN.

Greece’s radical left government in recent days has sent conflicting messages on its finances as the state is gradually running out of money.

The cash crunch has been caused by the government’s inability to agree with its international creditors — the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank — on reforms that would unlock some 7.2 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in promised bailout cash.

Over the weekend, a cabinet minister said Greece had “no money” to make a series of repayments to the IMF from June 5.

“The instalments for the IMF in June are (overall) 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given. There isn’t any to be given. This is a known fact,” Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said on Sunday.

A day later, a government spokesman insisted the country would keep up with its payments for as long as it could.

“To the extent that we are able to pay, we will keep on repaying these obligations,” government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told reporters.

Varoufakis on Tuesday denied that Greece is about to run out of money.

“Our state, as a result of huge sacrifices by the Greek people, has managed to live within its means,” he said.

“We will make the payment because I have no doubt that we will have an agreement,” he added.

Talks in Brussels over the Greek reform list are to resume on Tuesday.

According to Athens, the two sides are still apart on tax issues, social insurance, labour rights and the size of Greece’s budget surplus.

The government hopes to secure an agreement by early June at the latest.


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