Varoufakis: 'We accept zero percent of the memorandum'

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Varoufakis: 'We accept zero percent of the memorandum'

The new government has rejected Greece's bailout programme in its entirety, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told MPs in parliament on Tuesday, during a debate on the government's policy statements.

"What percentage of the memorandum do we accept? Zero percent!" Varoufakis said, replying to speculation that the government will accept 70 pecent of the reforms outlined in the current bailout deal.

The minister said that during negotiations, the government will do everything it can to avoid a rift with its European partners, but added that "if you exclude it (the negotiation) from the outset, then you're not negotiating."
"If you state from the onset to the other side that two to three days will go by, you'll be locked in the unpleasant rooms of Brussels but that at the last moment you will accept whatever they give you, what's going to happen? Better stay here, organize our ministries, stay with our families and they can send us an e-mail with their decisions, as it has been the case for five years now," Varoufakis said.

The finance minister differentiated between a "toxic and disastrous" bailout, which includes excessive indebtedness combined with a shrinking GDP and tough austerity and the positive or neutral measures included in the programme: "The memorandum, the pyramid austerity, is over. But the agreement with our lenders is not over. To stop it from being toxic though, a new agreement is required. We were elected to negotiate what? A new agreement," the minister said.

He continued to reiterate his proposal for a bridge programme that will serve to cover the transitional period between the old bailout deal and the new agreement. "To convince our partners, we have absolutely no hesitation to keep those parts of the memorandum that don't threaten the post-memorandum era and deal. Why, for example, should we reject the pledge to reform the tax code, or redefine tax evasion? This is something we also want," he told parliament.

The only tactic Greece will follow in the negotiations will be to submit logical and prudent proposals. "We will not go with any intention to use tactics. Although I've spent years studying game theory, I will not implement it. Game theory is for games and you don't play with the country's or Europe's future," he said.

Varoufakis also rejected the "conditional support" offered by the opposition – excluding the Communist Party and Golden Dawn. Speaking to them, the minister said that instead of advising the government to state in advance that it doesn't plan to rupture relations the Europe, it should tell it to "not dare return from Brussels without an honest deal."

He also urged opposition leaders to speak with their ideological counterparts in Europe and explain that Greece is requesting a consultation based on logic and common European interests.

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