Greek finance minister to visit Paris Saturday: official

31st January 2015, Comments 0 comments

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has moved forward to Saturday a planned trip to Paris that launches the new anti-austerity government's search for EU allies, his office said.

"The minister will travel to Paris on Saturday instead of Monday," a spokesman told AFP, adding that Varoufakis was expected to hold meetings on Sunday.

Varoufakis, a maverick economist opposed to fiscal cuts, was originally due to meet with French counterpart Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron on Monday afternoon.

Sapin's office said he would see Varoufakis at 1600 GMT on Sunday and statements would be made to the press 90 minutes later.

The new government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was elected Sunday on a platform of renegotiating Greece's unpopular EU-IMF bailout and erasing half the country's debt.

Tsipras is also visiting France and Italy next week in the hopes of securing support for his policies, but EU paymaster Germany has already ruled out a debt cut for Greece.

The new prime minister is to see Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi on Tuesday and French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday.

The European tour does not include Germany, where officials have expressed outrage at the new government's decision to axe privatisations and undo many of the bailout reforms upon coming to power.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday ruled out a debt cut for Greece, while her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Berlin was "averse to blackmail".

© 2015 AFP

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