José Manuel Barroso: Politicians ‘waiting for accident to happen’ in Greece

(The Telegraph) José Manuel Barroso, who led the EC for a decade, said that politicians had taken “too long” to find a solution, which had left Greece in danger of defaulting on its debt.

Jose-Manuel-Barroso-President-of-the-European-Commission“Sometimes I get the impression that people are waiting for an accident so that they can really focus [on] avoiding a bigger disaster. It’s too long this time that has been taken to find a solution. I believe it’s important now to find that solution.”

Mr Barroso has previously warned that a Greek exit could trigger the start of disintegration of the euro. “It breaks a taboo and sets a precedent,” he said in April.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Mr Barroso said: “It will certainly be negative for Greece and the euro area if there is a default or if there is a Grexit. But I believe that a solution can still be found.”

Greece will remain in focus this week as the cash-strapped government scrambles to pay back €304m (£218m) due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 5.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, said restructuring the country’s massive debt pile would help the country to escape the “vortex” of a self-reinforcing crisis of debt and recession.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will also convene for its regular interest rate meeting this week, where analysts will be listening out for what president Mario Draghi about the situation in Greece.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, is seeking a fresh 30-year loan from the eurozone’s rescue fund to replace debt held by the ECB. He said the government wanted a “combination of debt restructuring, investment injections and reforms that go beyond the inhumane practice of cutting pensions, benefits and wages”.

Other ministers have suggested that Greece is ready to make compromises to secure the badly needed cash. “We believe that we can and we must have a solution and a deal within the week,” said Nikos Voutsis, Greece’s interior minister.