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Friday, May 22, 2015

Tsipras gets no leeway in Riga

Tsipras gets no leeway in Riga

The Greek government states that a cash-for-reforms deal with the EU and IMF can be finalized in the next 10 days but the other side is much less optimistic and there was no sign of a breakthrough at the EU summit in Riga which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had been pinning some hope on.
Tsipras talked with Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande last night but got little more than a pointed reminder than he needs to do more to secure funds to avoid default.
German and French statements focused on the immediate need to agree the kind of economic reforms, promised by Tsipras’s conservative predecessors, which are a condition for the EU, European Central Bank and IMF to unlock more cash. Officials say the government could otherwise run out of money in a couple of weeks.
The only thing that would have broken the logjam in Riga would have been a major concession by Tsipras but it appears he is sticking to his “red lines” on labour deregulation and pension reforms. Today, he will talk with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who has given Greece a somewhat more sympathetic ear.
A Greek government spokesman insisted a deal could be done in 10 days and that Greece would meet all its payments in June and would thereafter be eligible for inclusion in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme. That remains to be seen.

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