It may, in the words of the Greek Finance Minister “fill ECB boss Mario Draghi’s soul with fear”, but Yanis Varoufakis has gone ahead anyway and proposed what would effectively be a pushing of the repayment deadline for some of Greece’s debt well into the future.
It is a refloating of Varoufakis’ earlier idea to swap debt for growth-linked or perpetual bonds. He warned Greece’s debt crisis has never been more acute. He added Draghi knew the idea was anathema to the Germans, who already hate Draghi’s bond-purchasing proposals.
Beyond the current situation he said it was high time people accepted that when Greece joined the euro reality of his country’s finances had been masked.
“Well, I wish that we had the drachma, (the former Greek currency). Make no mistake, this is not a statement that I want the drachma. I wish we had the drachma, I wish we had never entered this monetary union. And I think that deep down all member states with the eurozone would agree with that now. Because it was very badly constructed. But once you are in, you don’t get out without a catastrophe,” he complained.
Varoufakis, sidelined from ongoing talks with Greece’s creditors, says he will not sign any deal with them where the “numbers do not add up” and that will plunge Greece “back into a death spiral”. Figures on Wednesday indicated Greek GDP went back into recession in Q1.