Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that the government could propose a referendum or new elections if the Eurogroup partners reject his reforms proposal. The statement comes a day before the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, where the Europartners will discuss the Greek reforms proposals.
In an interview to Italian daily Corriere della Sierra the Greek FinMin said that in case Brussels would not accept his reforms plan:
“There could be problems. But, my Prime Minister said, we are not glued to our seats. We can go back to elections. Call a referendum (on the euro, editor’s note).”
Varoufakis’ proposal for elections was promptly rejected by some SYRIZA officials, with MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis to declare Sunday morning to private Mega TV:
“The government has a fresh popular mandate and this we should turn into practice instead of thinking of new elections. the popular mandate is solution within the euro with growth and cohesion.”
UPDATE: According to ANT1 TV, government sources Greek rebuffed Corriere Della Serra report citing Varoufakis as saying referendum or elections if no deal and accused the Italian newspaper of having played games with “editors’ notes.”
Gouvernment sources commented:
“In recent days we have been watching efforts to degrade Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Whether with ironic comments or with false or inaccurate news. Statements that were never made or by adding “clarifications” that com pletely changed the meaning of the responses, as was done with this interview of the minister in the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Y. Varoufakis never refers to a” referendum on the euro.” The word “euro” has been added by the journalist, that’s why “it is in parentheses“. (via action24.gr)
Original text in Corriere della Sierra
Se però Bruxelles non accetta il vostro piano…
«Potrebbero esserci problemi. Ma, come mi ha detto il mio primo ministro, non siamo ancora incollati alle poltrone. Possiamo tornare alle elezioni. Convocare un referendum (sull’euro, ndr)».
KTG: So? Varoufakis said ‘referendum’ but not on the euro? On what then?
UPDATE II: Greek Finance Ministry issued a statement speaking of “distortion on the side of Corriere della Sierra and revealing the correct answer by Varoufakis:
…”the Minister replied that, as stated by the Prime Minister, “we have not loved the chairs – if necessary, if we find ourselves in front of intransigence, we will resort to the Greek people either with elections or referendum” – But at this point of the interview the newspaper added “on the euro” something that the Minister neither said nor implied.”
(statement in Greek at Greek Finance Ministry website.)
More from the interview
Among others Varoufakis told also Corriere della Serra also that Greece does not need a new loan of 50 billion, as rumored.
Q Serious problems of cash?
A “I can only say that the money to pay pensions and salaries of public employees have it. For the rest we’ll see. “
Q In recent days there has been talk of the need for a third loan to Athens, 50 billion.
A “I do not think we need a new loan. We will not return in the mechanism of the loan in exchange for a program to be respected. The idea that we propose to our European partners is that of a project that restores to Greece a chance to grow up and stops the humanitarian crisis. “
A “Between now and June is to stabilize the situation. Then, it must be taken to a second level: to restart the Greek economy. Our intention is to get to a “contract for growth” based on a reasonable approach to taxes. ”
Q A “contract on growth” based on what?
A “Three points: A surplus of the revised budget. An intelligent debt restructuring. A plan for major investments. “
Varoufakis described the constant Grexit talks as “poisonous”.
Full interview in Italian here. Excerpts via google translation and Greek media
PS in public opinion polls, Greeks support the euro at 75%-80% – too lazy to find the exact percentage right now – . Therefore, no need to have a referendum.
In this case, we can say: hold your horses, cowboy!