Finmin Tsakalotos: We are looking for a good solution, not a perfect solution

The Greek side has done its job and the ball was now in the court of Greece’s EU partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who had to deliver a solution for Greece’s debt, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was reported as saying on Monday, while talking to foreign correspondents in Greece.
“We did not have a good solution on May 22. What we are looking for is a good solution, not a perfect solution,” he said, according to sources.

According to Tsakalotos, there was now pressure on all sides to reach an agreement, while all sides wanted such an agreement to be reached.

“What was on the table could not be accepted,” he added, noting that no one was asking for the debt measures to be implemented within 2017 but only to be clearly specified, so that investors know what they are.

It would be strange if Greece were asked to pay the price for the IMF’s participation in the programme and the IMF then walked away, the finance minister pointed out. The same applied to an IMF programme without its participation, which would be a ‘world first’ for the global economy, Tsakalotos added.

According to the Greek minister, however, all the Eurozone ministers wanted a solution to be found, including German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

“Nobody wants Greece to default, least of all Wolfgang Schaeuble. I am certain that he is working for a solution, in spite of all that he said at the Eurogroup on May 22.”

On Greece’s participation in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme, Tsakalotos said it was “not clear” what the ECB would do, unlike Greece’s intention to resume borrowing from the markets, which was “absolutely clear”.

“If you are a state that has lent to a country, you want that country to have access to the markets, otherwise you place your own debt at risk,” he said. He also called on the European institutions to have “their own strategy and opinion” and “not hide behind the views and analyses of other institutions.”

Tsakalotos added that, even if there were no quantitative easing, this would not mean Greece had no access to the markets.