By Harriet Torry
published at: http://www.nasdaq.com/
BERLIN–Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis insists Germany should agree to a write-down of Greece’s debt, according to an interview in a German magazine.
“Everyone knows that Greece will never be able to bear its current debt load without a new contract,” the minister told Der Spiegel magazine, which published excerpts of the interview online on Friday.
“I understand that the German government wants to avoid the word ‘debt write-down,’ but actually that would be better and ultimately more favorable for creditors than a CREDIT extension,” Mr. Varoufakis said. Greece’s current bailout from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund expires at the end of the month and the Greek government has been under pressure to seek an extension.
German finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger told reporters on Friday that an extension of Greece’s current bailout program is the “only possibility” Germany currently sees.
In the Der Spiegel interview, Mr. Varoufakis compared the techniques of inspectors from the so-called troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund–which have overseen the implementation of measures mandated by Greece’s rescue program–to the controversial interrogation technique waterboarding. The technique has been declared a form of torture that violates the Geneva Conventions by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“Just before cardiac arrest, we’re permitted to take a few breaths of air, then we’re pushed under water again and it all starts over,” the magazine quotes the minister as saying.
Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Monday to decide whether to change the existing program with Greece, or replace it with a new one.
Write to Harriet Torry at email@example.com