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17 Mar
Merkel-Tsipras meeting on Monday – but why now?



The time is ripe for Greek-German political negotiations to move forward, but Greece is trying to keep its hope in perspective.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s request to see Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Berlin on Monday, March 23, was welcomed by the Greek government. The visit is viewed as confirmation of political negotiation so that a viable and honest solution to the Greek problem can be found. The Greek delegation is hopeful that the communication ducts are to be opened at a high level but is keeping itself grounded in terms of optimism as discussions are expected to be tough. There are leaks that Merkel could suggest “unorthodox methods” to solve the Greek problem.

According to an announcement, Merkel had asked for a time to call Tsipras on Monday morning. The phone call took place at 4.30 p.m. in the afternoon. During their conversation, Merkel invited Tsipras to visit after a telephone conversation that lasted from 15 to 20 minutes and took place in a cordial climate. The two leaders will meet in Brussels on Thursday however a talk on the sidelines of the EU council was not seen as ample opportunity for the two to discuss issues of concern.

Sources of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) state that Tsipras will request that the Eurogroup agreement of February 20 to be implemented by international creditors, a view he will also promote at the EU council on Thursday. Tsipras will point out that Greece is acting in accordance to the agreement though it is being “sabotaged” by circles that do not want a leftist government in Greece.

The meeting with Merkel may cause Tsipras to be more reserved at the EU council than he had initially planned as the Greek-German meeting is a sign that political negotiations are continuing and the problems are not simply taking place at a technical level.

Greece is satisfied with the US stand following a message by the US Consul in Thessaloniki Robert Sanders who said that it is in the US and Europe’s interest for Greece to remain in the eurozone and to continue playing a stabilizing role in a very difficult region, the Balkans. He said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s support to the people is granted. He made this statement following his meeting with Macedonia-Thrace Deputy Minister Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha.