Varoufakis says debt deal ‘in the offing’


Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Friday it was not "too late" for Athens to reach a deal with its international creditors ahead of Sunday’s referendum on bailout terms.

"Whether there is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No, an agreement is in the offing," Varoufakis told the Irish national broadcaster RTE.

"If theres a ‘Yes’, the Greek government is simply going to sign on the dotted line on the proposals by the institutions on the 25th of June.

"If it’s a ‘No, I can assure you that during this week of impasse weve had some very decent proposals coming from official Europe, confidentially.

"A deal is more or less done," he added.

Varoufakis explained that private talks had continued with the European Commission and the European Central Bank this week, despite several European leaders ruling out talks until after the referendum.

"I don’t think it’s too late. We could do a deal tomorrow morning," he said.

"This week has not been a dead week in term of negotiations."

"The Greek government and the institutions have come very, very close when it comes to the fiscal policy as well as the list of reforms. The difference is debt relief."

Talks between Greece and its international creditors broke down last week when Athens rejected the latest terms for a deal and announced it would hold a referendum on July 5 on the proposals.

"The difference between a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No vote is that a ‘Yes’ is going to lead to an unsustainable and very bad agreement for Greece and for Europe, and a ‘No vote will lead to a better agreement," Varoufakis said.

He added: "Im sure that a ‘No vote is going to create the balance which is necessary within the Eurogroup so as to agree a sensible course of debt restructuring, debt profiling." [AFP]