Greek finance minister says some election vows can be put off

Greek finance minister says some election vows can be put off
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis addresses a news conference after an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels February 16, 2015.

ATHENS - Greece's combative finance minister has indicated that Athens' new radical left government is prepared to put some of its campaign promises on hold while it seeks to build confidence among its creditors.

"Our programme is a programme for four years," Yanis Varoufakis told reporters after a meeting of economic and finance leaders in northern Italy on Friday.

"We continue to hope...and will continue to work towards ensuring that these very basic promises we've made will be fulfilled within (this) timeframe," he said, according to an online video of a news conference following the closed-door meeting in Cernobbio, near Lake Como.

"If this means that for the next few months while there are negotiations we suspend or we delay the implementation of our promises, we shall do precisely that in the context of building trust with our partners." Varoufakis did not specify the election pledges he had in mind.

Greece's new radical government that came to power in January has alienated its international creditors by promising to roll back austerity reforms and freezing key privatisation projects.

Denied billions of euros (dollars) in loans still remaining in Greece's EU-IMF bailout, the government is now holding talks with the creditors on a new reform plan.

Germany and other eurozone nations are sceptical of Athens' plans to raise the minimum wage and facilitate state debtors, but the Greek government insists these measures will help revitalise the country's struggling economy.

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