Speaking at a Banking Forum in Athens yesterday (April 21), Greek FinMin Yianis Varoufakis expressed certainty that an agreement between Greece and its international lenders would be reached and the situation stabilized. He added that "the convergence is clear and the institutions acknowledge it," although this may not happen at the upcoming Eurogroup in Riga, Latvia.

Varoufakis noted that both sides have invested in an agreement and will not allow the opportunity to go to waste. He explained that the government’s goal was to avoid older growth models and reject measures which simply serve to pay off the next installment.

In his speech, the finance minister proposed the creation of a Greek Growth bank and the fortification of the banking system by establishing a "bad bank." He noted that the International Monetary Fund "was demanding the deregulation of the labour market," a market which he said was already hit by a deep recession during the debt crisis. He called for smart funding tools for social insurance funds, as low inflow made it impossible for them to cope. Concerning privatizations, Varoufakis noted that the Greek state would remain a shareholder, even though a minority one.

See also Reuters: Greek finance minister optimistic over deal with EU/IMF lenders, cites convergence (21.04); Democracy Now: Interview with Yianis Varoufakis (21.04, video)