Greek finance minister admits taping secret EU meeting

Yanis Varoufakis has admitted to making an audio recording of a secret EU meeting

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Greece’s Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis acknowledged taping an audio recording of a confidential meeting between his Eurozone counterparts.

Varoufakis speaking to the New York Times said he will not release the audio due to confidentiality agreements.

The Greek government has announced that it will not meet the June 5 deadline to repay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a 1.5 billion euro debt if a deal isn’t reached within days.

Varoufakis denied that his counterparts called him names and made fun of him during a meeting in Riga in April.

"All these reports that I was abused, that I was called names, that I was called a time-waster and all that: Let me say that I deny this with every fiber of my body," he said.

The Finance Minister did not leak the recordings from the meeting, simply saying "My respect for the confidentiality of my conversations with my partners, with my peers, with the institutions, is exemplary and I believe it has been acknowledged and understood by everyone."

Varoufakis has taken charge as chief negotiator of debt talks with European Union (EU) credit loaners. He also denied accusations that they had sidelined him.

Greece has been on the negotiation table with the EU and IMF for economic reforms to be implemented. The adjournment of the reforms puts at risk the final 7 billion Euro tranche of a 240 billion Euro bailout package.

Various policies are yet to be decided on issues like pension reform, taxation, and deregulation of the economy and rehiring of thousands of public servants.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsiparis will attend an upcoming EU summit in Riga to discuss further deals with East European leaders.

The government of Greece has prioritised payments of salaries, pensions and the necessary state running programs over repaying the IMF on June 5.

"Now is the moment of truth," Nikos Filis, spokesperson for the ruling Syriza party said.

"If there is no deal by [5 June]... they won't get any money," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies