BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has offered to give his Greek counterpart some chocolate euro coins as “nourishment for his nerves.”
Schaeuble has clashed repeatedly with Yanis Varoufakis over Greece’s debt and economic reforms since the leftist Syriza party took power in January, pledging to end austerity and renegotiate the bailout terms.
In an interview with the children’s television program “Logo” on German broadcaster ZDF last week, a girl reporter gave Schaeuble a supportive handful of the chocolate coins.
“I’ll take a few for my Greek colleague, he also needs strong nerves,” Schaeuble replied.
Greece hopes to secure a cash-for-reforms deal with its lenders this week. But after four months of tortuous negotiations no breakthrough is in sight. Without a deal Athens risks default or bankruptcy in weeks.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)