Post originally appeared on Sputnik News Agency.
In 2011, Athens and the European Commission signed a bailout plan to help resolve the Greek government debt crisis, a move that sparked anti-austerity protests in the capital and other Greek cities.
“Our government cannot – and will not – accept a cure that has proven itself over five long years to be worse than the disease,” Varoufakis wrote in an opinion feature published by the Project Syndicate website.
The outspoken finance minister added that cutting public spending or increasing taxes would impede recovery and “erode Greek’s willingness and ability to see through the reform agenda that the country so desperately needs.”
“Clearly, our creditors’ demand for more austerity has nothing to do with concerns about genuine reform or moving Greece onto a sustainable fiscal path,” Varoufakis said.
On Sunday, the minister said that Greece made “enormous strides” at reaching a deal with its lenders and expected them to also invest efforts, adding that if Greece leaves the Eurozone as a result of the crisis it would be a “disaster for everyone involved.”
Varoufakis’ statements echoed Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras’ call on lenders to make “necessary concessions” as Greece was ready to accept a deal but not on “humiliating” terms.
Greece’s national debt stands at around $350 billion, of which $270 billion is owed to its three biggest lenders, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
Greece must repay almost $7.5 billion to the IMF and in short-term bills in June alone, but, according to the country’s Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis, Athens does not have money to make the next IMF repayment.