NEWS

Monti says time for Greece to ‘play games’ running out

Mario Monti, the economist who served as prime minister of Italy during the country’s financial crisis, said the time for the Greek government to “play games” was running out.

Monti, 71, who led a technocratic government in 2011-2013 and was hailed then as Italy’s savior, told Bloomberg TV the time had come for Greece to comply with EU agreements and that he didn’t believe the country would leave the euro area.

“It seems to me the time for the new Greek government to play games, maybe with a genuine hope and will to change the policy framework of Europe, is coming to an end,” Monti said.

“Now the time has come for them to comply with the previous commitment, maybe with some softening particularly concerning the time profile of the implementation of the measures,” Monti added.

European officials and Greek authorities are set to begin talks intended to pave the way for aid payment needed to avert default. Representatives of the European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund are meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with Greek finance ministry aides, according to a Greek government official.

“I am confident that there will be some compromise rather closer to the initial positions of the eurozone than to the initial demands of the new Greek government,” Monti said in the interview with Francine Lacqua and Guy Johnson. [Bloomberg]