Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said his country isn’t looking outside Europe to resolve its financial crisis, adding that he’s confident of reaching an agreement with European partners this month.
Asked about a meeting between Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, Varoufakis denied any links with talks Greece is holding with euro-area governments that are the country’s creditors.
“We should be very clear: our bailout fallout needs to be dealt with in the European family,” Varoufakis said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Paris. “This government is not seeking an extra-European solution to a European problem.”
Greece, Europe’s most-indebted state, is negotiating with euro-area countries and the International Monetary Fund on the terms of its 240 billion-euro ($259 billion) rescue. The standoff, which has left Greece dependent upon European Central Bank loans, risks leading to a default within weeks and the country’s potential exit from the euro area.
The ECB approved a 1.2 billion-euro increase in the emergency funds available to Greek lenders Thursday, a person familiar with the decision said.
The Governing Council raised the cap on Emergency Liquidity Assistance provided by the Bank of Greece to 73.2 billion euros in a telephone conference, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision is confidential. An ECB spokesman declined to comment.
Greek officials said this week they are targeting an April 24 meeting of euro-area finance ministers as a deadline for approving new money. A looming cash crunch in the summer, when the ECB needs to be repaid, means a new bailout deal will be needed before then.
“I am very confident,” Varoufakis said, when asked about the talks. “The negotiations are proceeding quite well. It is in our mutual interest to strike a deal by the 24th and I’m sure we will.”