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Greece's Tspiras set for showdown talks with Germany's Merkel

brussels bureau

Greece's Tspiras set for showdown talks with Germany's Merkel


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras is set for showdown talks with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 40-year-old former Communist will meet Merkel on the sidelines of an EU Summit, along with French President Francois Hollande.

“The European Union needs bold political initiatives, that respect both democracy and the treaties, so that we can leave behind the crisis and to move towards growth,” said Tspiras.

But Merkel downplayed any chances of a new deal at the meeting in Brussels.

“Don’t expect any solutions. Don’t expect any break-through! decisions are not taken in this framework today – the decisions are made by the Eurogroup,” the German chancellor said, referring to the informal body that debates and steers financial policy in the eurozone.

But other countries were furious that such a meeting was being held without proper consultation with the rest of the single currency members.

“I am angry. T think this is the wrong method here. The Belgian government did not give a mandate to France or Germany to negotiate on its behalf. Belgium has interests of up to the value of € 7 billion in this case. it’s all the countries of the euro zone that are directly concerned,” said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

EU leaders are also set to discuss Ukraine, Libya and the bloc’s future energy policy for the next decade. The summit is expected to last until Friday afternoon.

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brussels bureau