Greece says will not accept 'illogical' demands in bailout review

Adjust Comment Print

Representatives of the country's global creditors are expected to return to Athens this week for a resumption of bailout talks despite continuing tensions between Greece and its lenders, highlighted by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras over the weekend.

During talks on Friday, Greece and its foreign lenders reportedly made progress toward bridging the divide over the country's fiscal path in the coming years with its worldwide lenders, but considerable differences remain.

A source close to the case said Mr Tsakalotos and Mr Dijsselbloem may meet with Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, and Benoît Coeuré, a director at the Central European Bank, to try and break the deadlock next week.

"(The review) will be completed, and it will be completed positively, without concessions in matters of principle", Tsipras told a meeting of his leftist Syriza party on Saturday. "We will not discuss demands which are not backed up by logic and by numbers", he said.

But the Greek prime minister warned worldwide lenders not to heap new burdens on a country he said had been "pillaged", with a population that had made "many sacrifices in the name of Europe".

Tsipras also called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to rein in Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his "constant hostility" towards Greeks, accusing him of trying to create a "two-speed eurozone" and comparing him to a "pyromaniac. playing with matches in a warehouse full of explosives".

Juncker, in an interview to be aired on German radio Deutschlandfunk on Sunday, praised Greece for some of the steps it has already taken.

Greece's third bailout package, worth EUR86 billion, was agreed in August 2015.

But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says an agreement is "on shaky ground" because the International Monetary Fund has not yet decided what role it will play.

The Greek government has to pay back 7 billion euros this summer, and it do that can't without new instalments of Greece's 86 billion euro aid packet.

Greece is at the centre of a debate between its European creditors and the International Monetary Fund.