​Greek govt pledges to pay off all debt, Varoufakis back in game

Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis
Athens is set to repay loans to all creditors, including the IMF, said the government’s spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is set to again head the Greek negotiation team after being briefly dumped from the process.

"The head of the negotiating team is Mr. Varoufakis, who has the full confidence of the government,” Sakellaridis said at Monday’s briefing as quoted by the Ekathimerini newspaper.

Varoufakis was sidelined from negotiations with the European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders last week by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, after facing a wave of sharp criticism at the last meeting with eurozone ministers in Riga.

READ MORE: Greece replaces Finance Minister Varoufakis as lead in debt talks

Talking about the upcoming IMF payments, Sakellaridis confirmed liabilities should be fulfilled by both sides.

"The task is to ensure that all financial obligations were fulfilled on time, we remain consistent in this. But there is the question of the other side’s liabilities," he said as cited by RIA Novosti.

"Our goal is to reach an agreement by the end of June. The negotiations are going well. A general agreement can be reached,” he said, adding the process of talks was discussed on Sunday at a government meeting.

Last week, Greece said a tentative agreement could be reached within a few days, despite the differences between the parties over the measures Greece must take to receive the money from the bailout fund, including the reform of the labor market, the pension and the tax systems that the country’s government doesn’t want to carry out.

Greece is expected to pay off €750 million to the IMF by May 12. In late April, PM Alexis Tsipras said the country expects to reach a preliminary agreement on a bailout deal with the EU by May 9. The deal will provide cash-strapped Athens with funds before its next due IMF payment.