Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will have important contacts this week in Washington with the most striking of all, his meeting with US President Barack Obama in the White House. No, Obama did not invite Varoufakis for a face to face meeting in the Oval Office. The two men will meet on the occasion of the celebration of the Greek Independence Day (March 25th) hosted by the White House. Due to the heavy schedule of President Obama the celebration will be hosted on Thursday, April 16th. Between commemoration and congratulation speeches, taramosalata canapes and stuffed vine leaves, Obama and Varoufakis will have a chance to shake hands and chat for a couple of minutes on the Greek debt problem. Vice President Joe Biden will shake hands as well.
Rockers in the White House
On Friday, Varoufakis will attend the spring session of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank where he is expected to have the chance for face to face meetings with ECB’s head Mario Draghi, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
Varoufakis will have a chance to meet Schaeuble also on Thursday, where both will deliver speeches at the Brookings Foundation.
Not that he will manage to persuade Draghi, Schaeuble and Dijsselbloem to step back from their reforms demands ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on April 24th. But you know, for the sake of “to know us better” as diplomats care to say.
However, President Obama has offered his support to Greece and he has declared in February that “You cannot keep on squeezing countries in recession.”
PS did you notice that Schaeuble gave up his aggressive tone against Varoufakis after Tsipras’ visit in Berlin?