Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos met with French Finance Minister Michel Sapin in Paris for an hour on Sunday, in the framework of the Greek minister’s meetings with other Eurozone finance ministers.
At a joint press conference, Tsakalotos said that trust had been built around the strategy Greece is following, leading him to believe that a “responsible agenda” would be put together. He also noted the necessity of balancing obligations and viability, which would lead to the creation of a “virtuous economic cycle.”
Commenting on negotiations over Greece’s debt, Sapin said that “the sooner negotiations over the debt begin, under good conditions, the better for all of us. This is France’s position.” He expressed the certainty there are solutions to the issue, as long as they don’t transcend the “red lines” drawn by other European countries.
Asked to comment on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the French minister said, “The IMF is here and we cannot chase it away,” and said a conclusion must be reached about its participation (in talks over the debt). A quick resolution over the debt would be beneficial to Greece, he said, because it will allow the country to manage itself independently and to develop.
Tsakalotos is due in Helsinki for talks with Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb on Monday. He is next due to meet Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Djisselbloem in Amsterdam on Tuesday and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin on Wednesday.