US Presidents do not normally meet and chat with finance ministers. However US President Barack Obama broke the protocol and had an informal chat with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during a reception hosted at the White House in order to honor Greece’ Independence Day. Certainly a powerful gesture of solidarity with debt-riden and cornered Greece. Surrounded by journalists and reception guests at a discrete distance, Obama and Varoufakis talked with each other for whole 12 minutes.
What did they say? Varoufakis briefed the journalists after the talk and told them that Obama and he “exchanged views on austerity and growth,” with President Obama saying that he had “to restart economy amid crisis and austerity ” and Varoufakis answering “in addition to austerity we have the Memoranda of Understanding that brought private losses on the shoulders of Greek and European taxpayers.”
the President and the Fiancen Minister talked also about practical ways that have to be found in order to “avoid destabilization by accident or by uncontrolled procedures.”
President Obama expressed “the solidarity” of US administration to Greece and “we agreed to continue our cooperation,” Varoufakis said adding that they also agreed that “flexibility is something that both sides must show”
“Honest Broker” Barack Obama reportedly welcomed Varoufakis with a sharp comment: “He brought us money.”
Short after, Varoufakis had a 5-minute talk with Vice president Joe Biden.
PS No, Varoufakis did not wear a tie…