"The Greek expression is 'put water into wine'. It's not an expression I like, because I wouldn't like my wine watered down, but you know what I mean, to reach an honest compromise," Tsakalotos said, as quoted by Greece's Kathimerini newspaper.
EU ministers met earlier in December to discuss further bailout measures for Greece's heavy debt burden. A set of short-term measures, including longer repayment periods and changing interest rates, were approved by the eurogroup in response to Greece's successful implementation of austerity reforms, but the ministers refused to finalize the second review of the bailout program. The results of the review are key for further tranches of the 86 billion euros ($96 billion) bailout.
The European Union also remained at odds with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which insisted on broader debt relief measures than those currently on the table.
Delays to finalizing the review may harm Greece's economic recovery, Tsakalotos warned, adding that this could stir discontent with the European establishment.
Greece signed a deal with its creditors, the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and some eurozone nations, in July 2015 for a third bailout package worth $96 billion in exchange for unpopular austerity reforms that include pension cuts and tax hikes.
In October, the eurogroup unlocked a $1.2 billion installment of the bailout after the completion of the first review of Greek reforms. Another $3 billion were unlocked in late October.