Greece's firebrand finance minister yesterday blasted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for playing hardball in negotiations, as fears the country will default on its debt sent up the interest rate on its government bonds.
“It’s about time the institutions, in particular the IMF, get their act together, and come to an agreement with us,” Yanis Varoufakis said.
“It’s about time they come to the table and meet us, not half the way, but one quarter of the way, we have already met them three quarters of the way.”
Greece and its creditors, which also include the European Central Bank and the European Commission have spent the last four months negotiating reforms the country must undertake in order for it to receive €7.2bn (£5bn) in bailout cash.
Without it, it is feared Greece could miss debt repayments as early as next Friday, when it is scheduled to pay €300m to the IMF.
However, Varoufakis was adamant that the payment would be met.
“We will make the payment because I have no doubt that we will have an agreement,” he said.
The interest rate on Greece’s 10-year government debt yesterday climbed to 11.88 per cent from 11.37 per cent.
Technocrats from both sides will spend the week discussing reforms, with the potential for a Thursday meeting of deputy finance ministers, where they will take stock of progress.
Some of the main disagreements are over pensions, the size of Greece’s budget surplus, labour market deregulation and VAT rates.