The German government signaled a tough line toward Greece on Monday, saying it saw no basis for new bailout negotiations and insisting it was up to Athens to move swiftly if it wanted to preserve its place in the euro zone. With opinion toward Greece hardening in Germany's ruling coalition after the landslide rejection of European bailout terms in a Sunday referendum, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected Athens to quickly roll out reform plans and her spokesman indirectly raised the prospect of a Greek exit from the bloc. Merkel said the Greek government needed to put some proposals on the table this week, especially as the requirements to start negotiating about a concrete aid program from the euro zone's bailout fund were not currently present.
Euclid Tsakalotos, the mild-tempered professor who was appointed as Greece's new finance minister on Monday, is a clear change in style from his combative predecessor Yanis Varoufakis. The 55-year-old Tsakalotos studied at prestigious private London school St Paul's and at Oxford University, speaks Greek with a British accent and rarely appears in public, let alone wearing the torso-hugging T-shirts Varoufakis favors. As the brainchild of Syriza's economic thinking, Tsakalotos is likely to redouble efforts to put one of the most contentious issues in the five months of negotiations between Greece and its creditors -- debt relief -- back on the table.