Sunday 4 December 2016

Noonan 'great friends' with Greek finance chiefs - but ousted Yanis unlikely to make the cut

Published 08/07/2015 | 02:30

'The leather-clad Greek finance minister failed to endear himself to his eurozone counterparts with his penchant for incendiary comments and brash negotiating tactics'
'The leather-clad Greek finance minister failed to endear himself to his eurozone counterparts with his penchant for incendiary comments and brash negotiating tactics'

Before yesterday's crunch meeting of eurozone finance ministers Michael Noonan revealed he had "great friendships" with previous Greek finance ministers.

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Noonan did not specify which of the six Greek finance ministers who held office during his time in Government he was best pals with, but it's fair to suggest the ousted Yanis Varoufakis probably did not feature high on the list.

The leather-clad Greek finance minister failed to endear himself to his eurozone counterparts with his penchant for incendiary comments and brash negotiating tactics. But it was his interference in Irish politics that rubbed up Noonan the wrong way.

At a recent Finance Committee meeting, Noonan said he gets on "reasonably well" with Varoufakis.

But added: "I would prefer if he did not interfere in Irish politics and start making noises of approval about Sinn Féin. I do not make noises of approval about his political opponents. That being said, he is a reasonable man to talk to and he is an interesting person."

From all accounts, his successor Euclid Tsakalotos was well liked during his first EU outing but he should keep clear of commenting on Ireland if he wants to win Noonan over.

Irish Independent

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