“I think that those who want, who might want, who might expect a fast-track solution to the problem, they are wrong. The problem is very difficult and so far we can’t see a very fast progress in the negotiations, in the analysis of what is really going on in Greece,” he told Bloomberg TV.
The recent data about the performance of Greece’s public finances in 2014 had further added to concerns, he said.
“This is another signal that situation has deteriorated but nobody can tell precisely to what extent it has deteriorated. So really we must know what is happening and we must discuss possible ways forward, which is not an easy and very quick thing to do,” the Lithuanian minister said.
The Greek budget deficit was 3.5 percent of the GDP in 2014 and twice exceeded the forecasts, data from the official statistical agency showed on Wednesday.
The Eurogroup, which will meet in Riga on 24 April, shall hold extensive discussions on this issue, according to Šadžius.
“I think we still have to find the best solution for Greece that would reflect both political realities of Greece and the solidarity and mechanisms that are already in place in Europe in the necessity of its stability. Of course, this stability should also be respected which means that all the commitments that were made by the previous Greek governments should be followed,” the Lithuanian minister said.
Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s Economic Affairs Commissioner, said on Thursday that the Union was not laying the groundwork for a Greek exit from the eurozone.
He admitted, however, that negotiations between the EU and Athens to keep Greece funded were moving “too slowly”.
Greece wants a new funding package of 7.2 billion euros to keep afloat and repay its debts to the IMF and the European Central Bank, but has balked at tough reform conditions demanded by its official creditors.