Via The Local.de: Greek FM calls for Berlin talks on debt deal. Excerpt:
New Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday he would like to hold talks "soon" in Berlin and Frankfurt to explain his austerity-hit country's position on the repayment of its debt.
"I'm really eager to go to Berlin... Madrid, Frankfurt," Varoufakis told reporters in Paris where he has just begun a European charm offensive as Greece seeks to renegotiate its 240 billion euro ($270 billion) bailout despite Germany's insistence that it will refuse to consider any debt relief.
"It is essential that we meet," Varoufakis said, referring to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
Speaking at a press conference after meeting his French counterpart Michel Sapin, Varoufakis said he wanted to see a global agreement on his heavily indebted country's financial situation "by the end of May".
Between now and then, Greece was "not going to ask for any new loans", he said. The German finance ministry said it had not yet received an "official request" for such a visit, according to a spokesman in Berlin.
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has tried to calm nerves and markets spooked by his radical plans, saying he did not intend to renege on commitments to the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
"It has never been our intention to act unilaterally on Greek debt," Tsipras said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
But he said Greece needed greater leeway to tackle root problems in its economy, such as tax evasion, corruption and policies which favour only a wealthy few.
"We need time to breathe and create our own medium-term recovery programme," he said.