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Greece Condemns Bailout Program as Markets Slide

  • VOA News

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks during a Parliament session in Athens, Feb. 9, 2015.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks during a Parliament session in Athens, Feb. 9, 2015.

The Greek finance minister dismissed Greece's current bailout program Monday as a “toxic fantasy” and pledged to seek debt forgiveness from euro zone creditors.

Speaking before the Greek parliament, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that the current bailout program of $270 billion is not a feasible option to take Greece out of the economic crisis. Varoufakis branded it as part of the problem and “not the real cure.”

“If this was about a bitter, yet therapeutic pill which we are being pressured to swallow for our own good, I would recommend we swallow it. If I believed that a retreat and an acceptance of the current bailout program - which logic and philosophy remains unchanged from 2010 - would at some point, perhaps with some difficulty and pain, take Greece out of the crisis, I would recommend we go ahead and submit, without dogmatism and egotism. But I don't believe it," said Varoufakis.

In his first major speech to parliament on Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras outlined plans to dismantle Greece’s austerity program.

Greek financial markets slid further Monday - as did other European markets - as the new left-wing government pressed ahead with its agenda. Athens has faced a rating downgrade and a decision by the European Central Bank not to accept its bonds as collateral.

The left-wing Syriza party won general elections last month on a pledge to bring relief to Greeks after six years of recession and a drastic drop in living standards.

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