GREECE’S firebrand finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was yesterday adamant that the country would reach a deal with its creditors, while a European Central Bank (ECB) official warned that Greece could begin using a parallel currency.
“I trust an agreement will be in the offing in the next few days, or weeks,” Varoufakis said yesterday, speaking at a conference in Brussels. He added that Grexit – a Greek exit from the euro – was “a forbidden thought in our minds”.
However, a government spokesperson reiterated that Greece would not give in on certain areas. “We won’t go beyond the limits of our red lines. It’s clear that we cannot cut pensions,” they said.
Earlier in the day the finance ministry announced it was rehiring cleaning staff fired as part of the previous government’s cuts.
Yves Mersch, who sits on the ECB governing council, said that if Greece ran out of cash it could pay public sector workers with IOUs.
“There are intermediate solutions circulating, such as the issuance of a parallel currency or IOUs,” he told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
“All these measures are among the exceptional tools that any government can consider if it has no other options. But all of them have a high cost.”