Greece sticks to anti-austerity position pending EU negotiations

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Greece said over the weekend it was confident that an agreement would be reached in negotiations with its EU partners and reiterated it would not accept any harsh austerity commitments or debt pact in tonight’s meeting in Brussels to shore up Greece’s deteriorating finances and help keep it in the Eurozone.
Greece said over the weekend it was confident that an agreement would be reached in negotiations with its EU partners and reiterated it would not accept any harsh austerity commitments or debt pact in tonight’s meeting in Brussels to shore up Greece’s deteriorating finances and help keep it in the Eurozone.

‘I expect difficult negotiations; nevertheless I am full of confidence,’ Alexis Tsipras stated. ‘I promise you: Greece will be a completely different country in six months’ time’.

However, economist Hans-Werner Sinn, head of the influential Ifo economic research institute in Germany, told the mass-market newspaper Bild that leaving the Eurozone would be better for the people of Greece, although he expected them to stay in the EU.

Mr Tsipras wants a bridge programme to be put in place for a few months while a new deal is agreed to replace the bailout, which has already forced drastic cutbacks onto ordinary Greeks. The rest of the EU, particularly Germany, says Greece must continue with those commitments as a ‘quid pro quo’ for the €240 billion it has received in bailouts. The Eurogroup’s main debate with Greece’s no austerity position will mainly involve the funding of a bridge programme, Greece’s request to reduce the budget surpluses as previously set, that it is required to reach, as well as privatisations and labour reform.