Greece’s Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, says he’d rather cut off his arm than accept a new deal with the IMF. The problem with this kind of stance seems to indicate that Greece would rather sink into total and complete economic collapse than work with creditors on a deal to keep the country afloat. The quote is the latest in what has been a long line of disasters when it comes to the Greek economy. This latest slide had been started when Greece announced it could not pay off its many, many debts in May.
When the country announced it would not have the money to pay back its creditors in May, it also announced that it needed a new deal with IMF. In a recent USA Today article, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conceded Greece does indeed need a new deal because there’s simply no way for the government to get out from under its $60 billion debt. The organization said they were working on a new debt plan with Greece but the government seems less inclined to work with its creditors every day. The comment that Yanis Varoufakis would rather cut off his arm than take a new deal underlines part of the problem.
Caught in the middle, those who would rather the Finance minister take the deal and rather he not cut off his arm are the people of Greece. All of this tough talk from government officials who have had zero success bringing the country’s economy back from the brink has been teetering over since the global economic collapse in 2008. This new deal, the one that Varoufakis is so entirely against, will include creditors’ requirement for economic reform and austerity measures in exchange for a badly needed debt relief. Greece is also hoping to secure a bailout extension and an additional €29 billion loan.
The Finance Minister is now saying that, “the sirens of destruction are blackmailing you to say ‘yes’ to everything without any prospect of exiting the crisis.” He even said he would resign if there were a “yes” vote on the referendum that would accept this new deal. Despite his tough talk, there are more than a few reports that he’s losing support from the Greek people. The most recent polls indicate that while it is still close, the “yes vote” side is now leading 47-43. The real question now is whether the government really would rather cut off its arm than deal with new conditions.
[Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images]