Now he needs his WIFE to bail him out! Greek finance minister is saved from anarchists who attack him while he was at a restaurant when his partner lays across him to form a human shield

  • Yanis Varoufakis 'attacked' while having dinner with his wife in Athens
  • A group of masked men threatened him and threw 'glass objects' 
  • His wife created a human shield and group retreated, Varoufakis said
  • Attack took place evening before Greece's meeting with EU creditors 

The Greek Minister of Finance came under attack from a group of masked anarchists in central Athens last night, the day before a vital meeting the the nation's eurozone creditors.

Yanis Varoufakis and his artist wife Danae Stratou were finishing dinner with a friend in the Exarhia district on Tuesday evening, when the group barged into the restaurant, demanding that he leave.

The masked attackers threw 'glass objects' at the couple and moved in on the finance minister, forcing his wife to form a human shield to keep the group away. 

Under attack: Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his wife Danae Stratou were finishing dinner in Athens on Tuesday night when masked attackers threw 'glass objects' at the couple and tried to attack him

The 54-year-old said that when some of the group moved in a threatening manner against him, his wife embraced him so that the potential attackers could not get at him without hitting her first. 

They tried 'for a few seconds to reach me without hitting her,' he said in the ministry statement.

Then 'they retreated fast continuing their curses and threats, got out of the courtyard and waited for us outside the restaurant,' the University of Essex alumni added.

'I started a dialogue with them, saying that I wanted to hear them out, even if that meant that I would be hit,' said Varoufakis. 'After 15 minutes of a tense but non-violent talk spirits calmed.' 

'This was not an organised incident,' Varoufakis added.

The attack came the day before a vital meeting between Greece and its creditors today where the government will present a draft bill of reforms, expected to include measures proposed by Varoufakis.

The attack on Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, pictured with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, came the day before a meeting between the government and its eurozone creditors to unlock vital bailout funds

The attack on Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, pictured with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, came the day before a meeting between the government and its eurozone creditors to unlock vital bailout funds

It is the Greek government's hope that the proposals will earn the approval of of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission, dubbed the Brussels Group, during the meeting today, and ensure that vital bailout funds are unlocked.

Government negotiations over what austerity measures to take in order to secure the loans have dragged on for more than three months and raised concerns the country might not get them in time to avoid a debt default. 

Athens hopes they will be sufficient for its creditors to approve the disbursement of the final 7.2 billion euro ($7.9 billion) installment from its 240 billion euro bailout. 

The European Commission said Tuesday that talks were now 'being made more productive and efficient' and that the pace of negotiations had 'intensified' since last weekend's meeting of eurozone finance ministers, where Varoufakis came under intense pressure from his colleagues.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said this week he expects a deal to be reached by May 9, in time for the next finance ministers' meeting.

Greece faces nearly 1 billion euros in debt repayments to the IMF by May 12, however the country's ability to meet the repayment - as well as the Greek people's pensions and salaries - hinges on whether a government plan to use cash reserves from state enterprises succeeds raises enough money.

However, this is just a short term solution, and even if today's meeting with EU creditors is a success, as government is locked out of the international borrowing market by sky-high interest rates that reflect investor fears it will default.

Prime Minister Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza party swept to victory in the general election in January after promising to end the austerity measures imposed by the eurozone.

Mr Tsipras based his election campaign on a pledge to renegotiate the bailout deal and reverse many of the reforms that eurozone creditors demanded in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010.

The upcoming May 12 deadline is a result of a four-month extension agreed with EU creditors in February this year, which forced Mr Tsipras to back down on key leftist measures promised during the campaign, and undertake a list of reforms to prevent Greece from possible bankruptcy.  


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