Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos came into office offering a fresh start in his nation’s financial crisis. But he began with more of the same.
When the 54-year-old politician made his debut at an emergency meeting of euro zone finance ministers on June 19, his country was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and desperate for more aid to avoid default. The burly constitutional lawyer began his presentation by seeking to renegotiate an austerity program his predecessor had only recently concluded with European Union and International Monetary Fund inspectors. Greece needed easier terms, he said.