By Jonathan Davies
Greece's finance minister has said that repayments to the European Central Bank can't be delayed because of the ECB's president's "soul with fear".
Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said the country's debt repayments to the ECB should the pushed back. But he said the ECB president Mario Draghi would never agree to it because he is scared of upsetting Germany further.
Germany objects to the quantitative easing (QE) programme launched by the ECB earlier this year.
“What must be done (is that) these 27 billion of bonds that are still held by the ECB should be taken from there and sent overnight to the distant future,” Mr Varoufakis told the Greek parliament.
“How could this be done? Through a swap. The idea of a swap between the Greek government and the ECB fills Mr. Draghi’s soul with fear. Because you know that Mr. Draghi is in a big struggle against the Bundesbank, which is fighting against QE. [Bundesbank President] Mr. Weidmann in particular is opposing it.”
Greece is still trying to secure another bailout package, with the country two weeks away from complete financial crisis.
Figures released yesterday (Wednesday), showed that Greece's economy is officially in recession again.
Germans buy gold
German investors increased buying of gold bars and coins in the first quarter as fears over the financial crisis in Greece continue to grow.
The World Gold Council's figures show that Germans bought 20% more gold in the first three months of the year - the highest rate in more than a year.
Gold is considered to be a "safe-haven" asset. And German investors are understood to be buying it as protection in case Greece defaults on its loans with the Eurozone, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). If that were to happen, analysts expect Greece to leave the eurozone, causing huge problems for its economy.
"This was the strongest start in Europe for gold coins and bars that we have seen since 2011," Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council told The Telegraph. "German investors are fretting over the ECB, Greece and Ukraine."