Regarding the distortion of what the Minister of Finance said to an Italian newspaper [Transcription from the Greek original announcement. Link here.]
In the framework of the Aspen-Chattam House conference, which took place in Venice on the 7th of March, and in which the Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis participated with his Italian counterpart, the Greek Minister, in answering to a relevant question of the organizers, repeated the established stance of the Greek government that the position of the country in the Eurozone is non-negotiable and that any other thought or planning goes against the interests both of Greece and Europe. This point of view [of the MinFin Yanis Varoufakis] was substantiated in the context of his speech on the creation of a more cohesive architecture for the Eurozone, as well as in the section of the Conference where he was asked to answer a series of questions from selected participants.
In an interview that followed to “Corriere dela Serra,” the Minister repeated the same stance, highlighting in various ways that the position of Greece in the euro is a given, and that it is in no way part of the negotiation concerning the reforming program of the government, which is being processed in coordination with our partners and the institutions. In terms of this program of reforms, and the issue of financing, the Minister has expressed his optimism for the successful conclusion of the process of compiling the final list of reforms before the end of April, in accordance to the Eurogroup agreement of the 20th of February 2015, as well as in accordance with the subsequent agreement of the country with our partners and institutions for the post-June era.
Asked by a journalist about what will happen if Europe does not “hear out” the Greek positions, the Minister replied that Europe listens and knows how to find solutions, as well as succeeding in making mutually beneficial agreements. And when the specific reporter insisted with the hypothetical question “yes, but what would you do if all of your proposals are rejected?” the Minister replied that – as the Prime Minister has stated himself – “we have not come to love our chairs – if it is needed, if we find ourselves in front of intransigence, we will resort to the Greek people either via elections or with a referendum” – obviously in terms of the content of the reforms and fiscal policy. At this point of the interview, the editing team of the newspaper added “for the euro” – something that the Minister neither said nor meant.
In general, the last few days we observe incidents of systematic misrepresentation of the statements of the Minister of Finance by many media. These misrepresentations, as well as the continuous scaremongering about the non-payment of the obligations of the Greek state to its lenders, comprise voluntary or involuntary attempts to undermine the good path of the consultations of the Greek government with the institutions and its partners.
In spite of the distorters, the Eurogroup agreement of the 20th of February progressed normally and the country is ready to fulfill all of its repayment obligations, on time and in full.