Noonan had no issue with Varoufakis, Howlin says

‘You see shocking pictures of people crying because they’ve no money or in rubbish bins’

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis: Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said his colleague Michael Noonan had no issue with Mr Varoufakis.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis: Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said his colleague Michael Noonan had no issue with Mr Varoufakis.

 

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan did not have a problem with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, according to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.

Mr Varoufakis, who has been replaced by Euclid Tsakalotos, said on Monday he had been made aware some eurogroup participants would prefer him to be absent from meetings.

Mr Howlin said denied Mr Noonan had taken this stance.

“No, as far as I’m aware...Michael has never said anything to me in relation to Yanis Varoufakis,” he said on his way into a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“We deal with whoever is there and there’s been a variety of ministers from a variety of countries, some of whose views we agree with, some of whose views we don’t, and we work collaboratively with everybody.”

Mr Howlin said while there had been a certain amount of “excitement” about the changes in political personalities in Greece in recent days, this was a serious time and the Greek people were suffering grievously.

“You see shocking pictures of people crying because they’ve no money or scrambling in rubbish bins for food. That’s a reality that is unacceptable and we need to find solutions to ensure that the people of Greece have dignity into the future.”

He said there was a “great longing” for solidarity across Europe.

“I know from the Irish Government perspective we want a deal to be struck. We want Greece to be part of the euro zone and remain a strong vibrant part of the union, and I hope that terms can be agreed that are fair to everybody to achieve that objective.”