Hopes for a deal over Greece’s €315bn (£240bn) debt buoyed markets on Tuesday as new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis stepped up his efforts to get the backing of the country’s creditors.
Varoufakis, the Marxist economist appointed to the post after last week’s election, will meet the head of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank on Wednesday, following talks with his finance counterparts in France, Britain and Italy.
Soothed by comments from Varoufakis on Monday that Greece was not attempting to write off its debts, the Athens stock market closed more than 11% higher while the FTSE 100 index in London was up more than 1% and stocks in Italy and Spain up more than 2.5%. Yields on government bonds fell, indicating tensions were easing.
Varoufakis, who is proposing Greece’s debt repayments be linked to economic growth, will face a showdown with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, on Thursday. Germany is expected to be tough to win over in an any attempt to relieve the debt repayments facing Greece, which was bailed out by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The programme under which Greece has received €240bn in bailout funds is due to formally end on February 28.
via The Guardian