​Varoufakis urges Merkel to deliver ‘Speech of Hope’ to Greece

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. (Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis)
Greek Finance Minister Janis Varoufakis appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to deliver a “speech of hope” to cash-strapped Greece, which would signal end to austerity demands and restore the morale of its people.

In his blog entry, Varufakis compared the situation in Greece today with Germany’s after the Second World War. At that time, US Secretary of State James Byrnes delivered a speech in Stuttgart, marking a transition from a punitive approach towards the defeated country, to a new one providing its people with the opportunity to recover and prosper.

“Seven decades later, it is my country, Greece, that needs such a chance,” he said.

Greece is on the brink of default and if international lenders refuse to inject more cash into its economy, the resulting havoc could possibly be followed by the country’s exit from the euro zone. The Troika of lenders, consisting of the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank, is requiring more austerity from Greece in exchange for another bailout. Athens, however, has thus far rejected these demands.

“Greater austerity is being demanded from an economy that is on its knees, owing to the heftiest dose of austerity any country has ever had to endure in peacetime,” said Varoufakis.

“No offer of debt relief. No plan for boosting investment. And certainly, as of yet, no ‘Speech of Hope’ for this fallen people,”he continued adding that German Chancellor Angela Merkel could become the one to deliver that speech.

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking at a press conference ahead of the G7 summit, urged Greece to come up with new proposals to solve the issue of its debt restructuring.

On Wednesday, Juncker demanded that Tsipras not delay negotiations on the nation’s debt, and allow talks to resume on June 10 in Brussels. The head of the Greek government promised to send proposals the next day, but Juncker says he hasn’t received them.

READ MORE: Greece will not accept ‘absurd’ proposal from Troika

Speaking at the parliament on Friday, Tsipras labeled the terms of the bailout proposed by the Troika “absurd” and “unrealistic.”

Earlier this week Athens postponed a loan payment of $300 million to the IMF, saying it will instead include it with three other payments, amounting to €1.6 billion, at the end of June. However, if Greece and the Troika fail to agree on the terms of the bailout by that time, the country’s chances of facing default will increase manifold.