Greece says it will no longer cooperate with its bailout lenders – the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
The Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis confirmed that during a tense news conference alongside the eurozone’s finance chief, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem:
Varoufakis accused the troika of trying “to implement an anti-European programme”. He added: “We see no purpose in cooperating with this tripartite committee that the European Parliament has criticised as being built on a rotten structure.”
Dijsselbloem in turn warned the new Greek government against reversing austerity measures saying they must respect the terms of the existing agreement.
“Taking unilateral steps and ignoring previous arrangements is not the way forward,” Dijsselblloem said. “The problems of the Greek economy have not disappeared or changed overnight with the elections.”
The meeting ended with an awkward handshake, and Dijsselbloem heading back to Brussels not looking at all happy.
Investors were not comforted and the main Athens stock market ended the day down 1.59 percent.
The cost of borrowing for the Greek government rose again; bonds that are due to mature in three year time saw their yields – that is the amount of interest that has to be paid on them – soar to 19 percent before easing to 18.77 percent.