Greek and German finance ministers to meet Thursday

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Tuesday he would meet his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble in Berlin on Thursday for talks on his country’s debt crisis.

The minister announced the keenly-awaited encounter after meeting in Rome with his Italian counterpart.

Varoufakis also confirmed he would meet ECB president Mario Draghi in Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Germany is seen as the strongest opponent of any easing in the terms of the massive debts Greece has built up as a result of a series of international bailouts in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Stock markets across Europe rose strongly on Tuesday after Greece outlined debt restructuring proposals which would ease their financing burden but not require creditors to write off capital sums.

Germany has not yet given any official response to the proposals, which were given a warm welcome by Italy.

In a statement after the talks in Rome, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Rome and Athens had a common interest in seeing Greece return to strong and sustainable growth through structural reforms.

“The attention to growth is a priority to guarantee the sustainability of the Greek debt, to create new jobs in the country and to contribute to relieving the social impact of the crisis.” [AFP]