ECONOMY

Tsakalotos says gov’t has ‘collective’ responsibility for Varoufakis actions

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Responding to criticism by the political opposition following the recent revelations of former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis regarding last year's negotiations with Greece's lenders, the Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos indicated on Friday that the government had worked as a team.

"The responsibility for Varoufakis's handling [of the talks] was collective," Tsakalotos told Parliament.

Yanis Varoufakis told Skai in an interview last week that he was instructed last year by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to put together a small team of people to draw up a plan for introducing a parallel currency if Greece was unable to reach an agreement with its lenders on a new bailout.

Although government sources had initially distanced themselves from the former finance minister, noting that "the credibility of Varoufakis's choices in the negotiations has been judged at all levels," Friday's comments in Parliament by Tsakalotos indicated that the administration had been coordinated in the negotiations with creditors and that Varoufakis had not acted independently.

"Both the prime minister and I specified the positive and the negative of the first six months," Tsakalotos told the House. "The government has collective responsibility," he added.

Earlier this week, 40 MPs of conservative New Democracy submitted a written request for a parliamentary inquiry into recent revelations by Varoufakis regarding last year’s negotiation and pressed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take a stand on the  matter.