Greek optimism on deal not justified, says Wolfgang Schauble

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said yesterday the Greek government’s optimism about clinching a cash-for-reforms deal with its lenders within days was not backed up by negotiations and he could not rule out Greece becoming insolvent.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government hopes a deal with foreign lenders is imminent, with finance minister Yanis Varoufakis saying on Monday that an agreement could be reached within a week.

But Mr Schauble poured cold water on this idea, saying reports from the international institutions involved in negotiations with Athens suggested talks were progressing “very hesitantly”.

“What I know from discussions with the three institutions does not back up the optimism arising from announcements from Athens,” Mr Schauble said in an interview with Reuters. “There is not yet any substance to the mere announcement that we are closer to an agreement. This is still within the realms of atmosphere,” he added.

Greece’s EU and IMF lenders say talks are moving too slowly for a deal in the coming days.

Asked whether he thought Greece was coming ever closer to insolvency, Mr Schauble said the situation was in Athens’ hands, adding: “I can’t rule anything out in any case.”



More in this Section

High-speed broadband key to reviving rural areas

Stock market jitters set to be eased after hard times


Breaking Stories

Aer Lingus announce extended summer service of Cork to Cornwall route

Figures show Ireland ranks low for housebuilding in the EU

Smart and ‘heroic’ ways to cut the home heating bills

Buffett’s €97bn hoard that earns ‘only a pittance’

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner