Greek prime minister sticks to hard line

Greece and its international creditors harden their stances as talks aimed at preventing Greek default and potential exit from euro collapse

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

As the future of Greece in the eurozone is questioned more than ever, the debt-stricken country and its international creditors blame each other for the disruption of talks over the last weekend.

Addressing the parliament on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he still wants to reach a deal, however, gave no sign of backing down from the dispute over cash-for-reform deal with its international lenders.

Unless Greece receives new funds from its creditors, the country might drag itself towards an exit of the eurozone. Greece needs to pay €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by June 30.

The unpleasant progress in the negotiations has also sent a wave of worry among pro-euro opposition parties. Officials who have contacted Tsipras have urged him to settle a deal before the economy collapses.

Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centrist To Potami party, met with the Greek prime minister and warned that “the Greek economy is desperately close to its limits.” In response, Tsipras assured him that there are “two or three” more steps Greece could take in order to reach a deal provided that its foreign lenders showed willingness.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said little progress has been made in talks with Greece for an aid-for-reforms agreement. Merkel added that she could not say whether a deal could be clinched at the next meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

"Something can only be decided there if there is a joint proposal with Greece that will fulfill the conditions," Merkel said. "I have always said I want to do everything possible to keep Greece in the eurozone. I remain dedicated to that," she added.

Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Thursday to revive the talks. European Union officials denied reports that an emergency summit of eurozone leaders was planned for next Sunday.

TRTWorld and agencies