Negotiations Have Been Tense with EZ Finance Ministers

The lowest moment in more than five months of Greek crisis talks for Dutch finance chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem came the night of July 5. Polling stations in Athens had just closed and the principal deal maker for the eurozone’s finance ministers was at home in the university town of Wageningen.

As the results trickled in on his television, it became clear some 61% of Greeks had voted “no” on a bailout offer that Mr. Dijsselbloem had been central in negotiating.

“I expected it to be a ‘no’ vote, because [referendums] always seem to mobilize the protest, the ‘no’ vote very, very strongly,” Mr. Dijsselbloem said. “But I was very sad because the Greek people were led to believe that if they were to vote ‘no,’ the outcome would be better…And it was my conviction, and still is my conviction, that without tough measures you can’t sort this out.”