Belfast Telegraph

Greek PM renews efforts to secure bailout loans

By Staff Reporter

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has renewed his diplomatic offensive to try to convince European creditors to pay out the bailout loans the country needs to avoid default.

The creditors have made it clear that Greece has to improve its offer of economic reforms before they release the €7.2bn (£5.3bn) the country needs to pay debts due at the end of the month.

Mr Tsipras had a short meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and they promised to continue talking today.

There was widespread expectation that Mr Tsipras would also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of a European Union-Latin America summit.

The meeting came after Mr Juncker's European Commission had said the offers made by Greece last week were still not good enough to unlock the bailout funds.

"For this final push, the Commission is of the view that the ball is clearly now in the court of the Greek government," Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

The lack of visible progress in the negotiations over the past weeks has revived fears Greece could default on its debts and drop out of the euro, a move that would create huge uncertainty for Europe and global markets.

"The goal is to keep Greece in the eurozone," Ms Merkel said. "Where there is a will, there is a way."

Yet she insisted it was up to Mr Tsipras first and foremost to show that willingness. Greece has three weeks left to conclude a deal.

Belfast Telegraph