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Varoufakis: Greece can get by without a new bailout

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has criticized the Eurogroup for being unwilling to adapt to new situations. He also insisted a new bailout would be unnecessary if creditors were willing to restructure Greece's debt.

Negotiations between Athens and its international creditors are moving closer to a deal, according to the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung daily. Although it seemed unlikely that an agreement could be struck before Greece owes the next repayment of its debt package to the IMF on May 12, some rapprochement appeared to be taking place between both sides.

Measures such as creating an independent audit court and freeing up the market for natural gas were some examples the newspaper gave of what it described as constructive and encouraging talks that began last week and were expected to continue on Monday.

'No country' should have joined the euro

Despite concerns from analysts that Greece could default by the end of the month, outspoken Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis insisted in an interview published Saturday that the country could "of course" get by without a new bailout - provided its creditors allowed an "important restructuring of the debt."

In the interview, given to Greek newspaper Efimerida ton Sindakton, Varoufakis also took the opportunity to criticize the eurozone, saying that if it "doesn't change it will die." Adding that "no country, not only Greece, should have joined such a shaky common monetary system," the finance minister was careful not to suggest that his nation was leaving the euro, as it would lead to "an unforeseen negative situation."

Varoufakis also dismissed reports that his fellow EU finance ministers insulted him with epithets like "gambler" and "amateur" at a tense summit in Riga on April 24. "Those would have surely been heavy offenses if they had been expressed. But they were not," he told the paper.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to reshuffle the negotiating team after relations between Varoufakis and his peers deteriorated following the Riga meeting. Technical experts from the Eurogroup and Greece have been in talks all weekend in an effort to resolve differences in order to unlock the remaining EU-IMF bailout money.

es/gsw (AFP, dpa)

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