17th February, 2015 :Â Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis declared he was ready to do “whatever it takes” to reach agreement over its bailout after the collapse of talks with EU finance ministers.
Mr Varoufakis spoke after Greece rejected an EU offer to extend its current â‚¬240bn (Â£178bn) bailout, a plan he called “absurd” and “unacceptable”.
He said he was prepared to agree a deal but under different conditions.
But the Dutch finance minister said there were just days left for talks.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the Eurogroup of finance ministers, said it was now “up to Greece” to decide if it wanted more funding or not.
“My strong preference is and still is to get an extension of the programme, and I think it is still feasible,” Mr Dijsselbloem told a news conference after the talks collapsed.
Greece’s current bailout expires on 28 February. Any new agreement would need to be approved by national governments, so time is running out to reach a compromise.
Without a deal Greece is likely to run out of money.
Mr Varoufakis said there was still “substantial disagreement” on whether the task ahead was to complete the current programme, which Greece’s newly elected government has pledged to scrap.
He dismissed the promise of “some flexibility” in the programme as “nebulous” and lacking in detail.
Speaking at a news conference after Mr Dijsselbloem, he said he had been presented with a draft communique by Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economics commissioner, which he had been ready to sign.
However, that draft had been withdrawn minutes before the meeting started, Mr Varoufakis said.
But he sought to play down the setback as a temporary hitch.
“Europe will do the usual trick: It will pull a good agreement or an honourable agreement out of what seems to be an impasse.”