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No Greek tears over "rock star" minister

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 02:08

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he's confident of an early deal with international creditors. As Sonia Legg reports it follows the shake up of his negotiating team and the sidelining of his outspoken finance minister who has infuriated euro zone partners.

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He's fluent, flamboyant and a little brash. But Greece's Finance Minister is also a little too idealistic for some. Yanis Varoufakis has frustrated his European colleagues during bailout discussions - his strong anti-austerity philosophy hindering progress at the negotiating table. Just last week his failure to provide a list of detailed Greek reforms prompted sharp criticism from euro zone peers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP PRESIDENT, JEROEN DIJSSELBOEM, SAYING: "The responsibility for that lays mainly on the side of the Greek authorities. Finding an agreement is first and foremost in Greece's interest." There were mutterings at home as well. Varoufakis doesn't belong to the ruling Syriza party - and the economics professor has reportedly annoyed some members with his showy lifetstyle and reluctance to attend cabinet meetings. Markets rose and bond yields fell on news a well-liked Deputy Foreign Minsiter will head a new group handling negotiations with Greece's lenders. But BGC's Mike Ingram thinks it could all be a smoke-screen. SOUNDBITE (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL INGRAM, SAYING: "I remain suspicous that this is a sea change in the negotiating position - it may be just presentation." It was business as usual for Varoufakis - meeting Swiss government officials in a bid to tackle corruption. But there's still no detail about what reforms Greece will implement in order to secure new funding. SOUNDBITE (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL INGRAM, SAYING: "People are trying to make out it is just down to a few key issues such as labour market reform. There still needs to be discussion on the basic numbers and the trajectory of the debt pay down and until that is nailled down Greece is going to continue to bleed cash and at some point in the absense of a deal something bad is going to happen and I think it is going to happen relatively soon." Greece's Prime Minister says he's confident an early deal will be reached with international creditors But his comments came with another warning. He says he might have to hold a referendum if lenders' demands are too contrary to his government's electoral promises.

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No Greek tears over "rock star" minister

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 02:08