Dijsselbloem: Negotiations were held directly with Tsipras

Greece now has “the flexibility to apply a more social type of policy,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem, former president of the Eurogroup, told private ANT1 television in an interview on Monday night, warning however that “it must not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The former Dutch minister expressed optimism for the Greek economy’s future and said it would take time for Greece to restore its credibility and overcome the great issues its population is facing.

Among other comments, he noted that the European Union had made mistakes in the management of the Greek economic crisis and said the fiscal adjustment programs for Greece were very strict and their implementation very difficult. He said that Greek politicians were also responsible for many mistakes even before the crisis, as was Germany for its delayed reaction to agreeing to a unified EU plan in order to contain the widespread economic crisis.

He also described the handling of the crisis by then Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis as “catastrophic” and said that negotiations were held directly with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to find solutions which however were constantly being undermined by Varoufakis.