The Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in an article in the Irish Times reveals that he was prevented from sharing with Mr Noonan –the Irish finance minister – or indeed with any other finance minister the Greek written proposals during last Thursday’s finance ministers meeting in Brussels. Wolfgang Schaeuble’s later confirmed that any written submission to a finance minister by either Greece or the institutions was “unacceptable”, as he (Schaeuble) would then need to table it at the Bundestag, thus negating its utility as a negotiating bid.
“Michael Noonan protested that ministers had not been made privy to the institutions’ proposal to my government before being asked to participate in the discussion” writes Yanis Varoufakis.
Varoufakis nevertheless presented the Greek government’s comprehensive reform agenda and a well thought-out proposals for debt swaps that would allow Greece to re-enter the capital markets and to partake of the European Central Bank’s asset-purchasing programme (commonly know as quantitative easing).
“Regrettably, my presentation was met with deafening silence. Excepting Michael Noonan’s apt remark, all other interventions ignored our proposals and reiterated the frustration of ministers that Greece had ‘no proposals’” Varoufakis writes.
For a more on Schaeuble’s role in the negotiations (and why I believe that Schaeuble must go) see the last two sections of “Greece needs a political solution – (or, Auf Wiedersehen Herr Schaeuble, and thanks for all the cash)” published 18/6, ‘Who is to blame’ and ‘The last stretch of the road to an agreement’