Athens, June 8, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Zacharias Petrou
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday of distorting proposals by Greece’s creditors for a deal on the country’s bailout and urged him to present alternative proposals this week with a view of wrapping up talks.
Speaking in the Greek parliament on Friday, Tsipras said the creditors’ proposed deal was “absurd” and unacceptable. Juncker said Sunday that while he considered Tsipras a friend, “in order to remain friends one has to respect some minimum rules”.
The Commission’s President said he expected negotiations with Tsipras and other euro zone leaders on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels starting on Wednesday.
Shortly after Juncker’s statements, Greek goverrnment officials maintained that “the Greek government awaits with interest the comments of the institutions on the proposal and is ready to continue from now on to attempt further convergence on the political level”.
Merkel – Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed Greece in their bilateral meeting ahead of a summit of Group of Seven (G7) leaders, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Sunday.
The two leaders agreed Greece must reform and return to sustainable long-term growth, with Obama hopeful Athens and its partners can chart that course without causing volatility in financial markets, the spokesman added.
Merkel said she, Commission President J.C. Juncker and French President Francois Hollande briefed the G7 leaders on the Greek debt talks.
“We could not say that the problem was solved,” she told ZDF television, adding there was still a lot of work to do and “we haven’t reached the finishing line yet”.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz urged Greece to accept a proposal by its international lenders for a cash-for-reforms deal. The European Union is willing to compromise with the Greek government, Schulz said, adding that the lenders had already made concessions in the debt negotiations.
Yanis Varoufakis will meet German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin on Monday.