Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrived for a meeting with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble in Berlin, Monday, as talks between the two nations intensify after negotiations on the restructuring of the Greek economy led Greece’s government to delay payment to the IMF. The meeting was unscheduled, but due to Varoufakis being in Berlin to speak at a Hans-Boeckler foundation meeting, the two ministers met. No press conference is expected following their discussions.
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told reporters on Monday that the meeting between him and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble took place in an exceptionally friendly climate and was a long, productive meeting.
“Dr Schaeuble and I had a long, productive discussion. These are difficult times for the European Union and especially the eurozone and the politicians should assume the responsibility to reach a deal which is necessary for the eurozone and the EU’s cohesion,” Varoufakis underlined and spoke of a “historic duty.”
Varoufakis stressed that the discussion took place in a friendly climate adding that:
“we have a common perception of the problem and the purpose was to attempt to achieve a jointly determined and agreed solution to the impasse in which we have unfortunately been over the last years. I believe that today’s debate will help strengthening the process of the past days and weeks in order to reach a final deal.”
When asked by reporters whether there were any specific concessions, the Greek Minister noted: “we did not negotiate. We set common ground.”
The meeting between Varoufakis and Schauble was held two days before the critical, top-level meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Brussels.
At the weekend, the White House confirmed that US President Barack Obama and Merkel discussed Greece on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Dresden.
The US President was reportedly confident that Greece and its partners would come to an agreement without causing further instability to the international markets.