World

Greece signals summer concessions, says bailout lenders imposing 'technical asphyxiation'

  • People shop at a flea market at the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Greece says it will discuss with its creditors on Thursday a draft bill of reforms it hopes will earn their approval and pave the way for the unlocking of vitally needed bailout funds.  (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

    People shop at a flea market at the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Greece says it will discuss with its creditors on Thursday a draft bill of reforms it hopes will earn their approval and pave the way for the unlocking of vitally needed bailout funds. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis talks with a unionist during a protest by tax office employees outside the Finance ministry in Athens, Greece, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Varoufakis has indicated his country’s left-wing government could make concessions on key demands by bailout lenders over the summer after a deal is reached to unlock remaining rescue funds.  (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis talks with a unionist during a protest by tax office employees outside the Finance ministry in Athens, Greece, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Varoufakis has indicated his country’s left-wing government could make concessions on key demands by bailout lenders over the summer after a deal is reached to unlock remaining rescue funds. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is surrounded by protesters and media workers as he arrives at the Finance ministry in Athens, Greece, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Varoufakis has indicated his country’s left-wing government could make concessions on key demands by bailout lenders over the summer after a deal is reached to unlock remaining rescue funds.  (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is surrounded by protesters and media workers as he arrives at the Finance ministry in Athens, Greece, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Varoufakis has indicated his country’s left-wing government could make concessions on key demands by bailout lenders over the summer after a deal is reached to unlock remaining rescue funds. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has indicated his country's left-wing government could make concessions on key demands by bailout lenders over the summer, after a deal is reached to unlock pending rescue funds.

But Varoufakis said he would "not move an inch" on those issues until that initial agreement is reached, while insisting it would be possible in the "next few days."

He made the comments Thursday as his reshuffled negotiating team prepared to meet bailout inspectors in Brussels. He accused lenders of imposing "technical asphyxiation" by withholding money the country needs to force it to take more austerity measures.

The confrontation has taken its toll on the fragile Greek economy. Late Wednesday, Moody's ratings agency further downgraded the country's sovereign rating to Caa2 from Caa1, two notches above default.