NEWS

Opposition demands answers on Varoufakis

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Opposition parties on Wednesday called on the government, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in particular, to respond to claims made by ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in an interview with Skai TV’s “Istories” (Stories) program on Tuesday night.

Varoufakis provided a number of details regarding the months-long negotiations with Greece’s lenders, including that at one point he recommended defaulting on the European Central Bank and introducing a parallel payment system.

“The issues raised by yesterday’s testimony from the former finance minister and close aide to Mr Tsipras are very serious,” said New Democracy spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos. “Mr Tsipras and Mr Varoufakis negotiated together.”

PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata repeated her call for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the Greek economy from 2000 onward, including last year’s tense negotiations, and highlighting that in July Tsipras had described Varoufakis as a “valuable asset” for Greece.

The Potami party said that Varoufakis’s explanations revealed the level of “irresponsibility and amateurism” within the Greek government at the time.

Union of Centrists leader Vassilis Leventis followed a similar line and argued that Tsipras bears responsibility “for supporting a minister whose tactics led to Greece being shackled to a third bailout.”

The German government refused to comment regarding Varoufakis’s claim that China had agreed to buy Greek bonds but that Berlin intervened to cancel the deal. It also did not respond to the ex-finance minister’s claim that he recorded all of the Eurogroup meetings he attended apart from the first one.