NEWS

Greek FinMin says talks with euro zone have made progress

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Friday that talks with his euro zone peers had improved dramatically over the past few weeks but criticized some plans put forward, such as a foreclosures law demanded by creditors.

“We agreed that an agreement will be difficult but it will happen and it will happen quickly because that is the only option we have,» Varoufakis told a news conference.

“We have agreed that we are going to speed up the negotiations, that we will take another look at the processes,” Varoufakis said, suggesting that EU/IMF teams may not need to meet both in Brussels and Athens.

“You can choose to look at it as a half full or half empty bottle. We choose the optimistic way .. The two sides have come much closer on issues like privatizations … the government has proposed to set up an independent tax commission … we have had very good discussions on the need to reform the judiciary.”

On budget surpluses, he said: “This government does not want to do what previous governments did, to sign on pledges regarding primary surpluses that were simply, from a macro-economic perspective, impossible to achieve. This is why negotiations are dragging on. We are not going to make promises we cannot fulfil.”

[Reuters]