Greece’s talks with creditors are not a ‘bargaining game,’ writes FinMin Varoufakis

“It would be pure folly to think of the current deliberations between Greece and our partners as a bargaining game to be won or lost via bluffs and tactical subterfuge,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis writes in an op-ed piece published Monday by The New York Times, as representatives of the cash-strapped nation try to convince its eurozone partners to give it more time to renegotiate a new debt deal.

“In the current deliberations between our European partners and Greece’s new government, the whole point is to forge new motives,” Varoufakis writes. “To fashion a fresh mind-set that transcends national divides, dissolves the creditor-debtor distinction in favor of a pan-European perspective, and places the common European good above petty politics, dogma that proves toxic if universalized, and an us-versus-them mind-set.”

However, the outspoken finance chief of the recently elected leftist government, reiterated that Athens has set certain conditions that are not up for negotiation, despite mounting pressure from EU partners, and Germany in particular, for Greece to commit to the bailout terms and targets agreed by the previous administration.

“The lines that we have presented as red will not be crossed. Otherwise, they would not be truly red, but merely a bluff,” Varoufakis writes in The New York Times in a piece titled “No time for games in Europe.” “We shall desist, whatever the consequences, from deals that are wrong for Greece and wrong for Europe.”