Greek PM sees loan deal this week

GMT 16:56 2015 Monday ,16 March

Arab Today, arab today Greek PM sees loan deal this week

Greece is facing a cash squeeze
Athens - AFP

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday said his country's cash crunch would be resolved by an EU summit this week, warning that any pro-austerity opponents would not be allowed to scupper a deal.
"The issue will be dealt with at a political level by the end of the week, until the summit or if need be, at the summit itself," Tsipras told the Ethnos daily.
The new radical left-wing premier added that at the two-day summit which opens Thursday, Athens would face opposition from European nations "existentially linked with austerity" who were "playing with Europe's future."
But he insisted that other "prudent political forces" would prevent the talks from collapsing.
The Greek state is facing a cash squeeze this month because it has not yet received the remaining funds from its 240-billion-euro ($255-billion) EU-IMF rescue package as the new government is still locked in discussions with its international creditors on a revised reform plan.
The debt-wracked country managed on Monday to scrape together over 500 million euros to repay the International Monetary Fund. But it faces another debt deadline Friday when it has to pay over 300 million to the IMF, and redeem 1.6 billion euros in treasury bills.
To meet the payments, Athens will auction 1.0 billion euros in three-month treasury bills on Wednesday.
- Avoid 'humiliation' -
Tsipras did not identify the countries he thought might sink a solution to Greece's financial crisis, but Germany has publicly opposed Athens's plans to revise the terms of its bailout.
The premier recently also singled out the conservative administrations of Spain and Portugal for allegedly trying to block Greece's plans.
On Monday Spain's leader insisted it's a matter of "honouring commitments."
"I do not want Greece to leave the euro. I do not believe that would be good for Greece or for Europeans in general," said Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a radio interview.
"Right now what I would like is for Greece to honour its commitments like we others are all doing."
Amid the sometimes feisty exchanges between Greek officials and their European counterparts, EU Council chief Donald Tusk tried to calm down tempers.
"It is not only about money and geopolitical threats. It is about dignity, emotions. We have to avoid anything that can humiliate the other side," he said in an interview with six European dailies.
If Greece dropped out of the EU, he said, "it would be the most dramatic chapter in all the history of the European Union."
Tusk said a Greek exit from the euro would be "idiotic", but he added pointedly: "We have had too many events in European history that happened by accident."
Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday warned that Greek civil servants should brace themselves for downsized salaries and pensions this month.
European parliament president Martin Schulz also told the daily: "Tsipras urgently needs money."
But the Greek leader insisted on Monday in his interview that there was "no danger to salaries and pensions... and no threat to bank deposits."
In addition to holding back promised funds, the European Central Bank has limited the power of Greek banks to assist the state by buying its short-term treasury bills.
As an emergency option, the government last week submitted a law that directs the cash reserves of pension funds into state debt purchases.
But the country's main public sector union on Monday warned the government against the idea.
"The money of the funds is 'sacred'," the Adedy union said.
"We expect (the government) to exhaust every other option... and abandon this idea," it said.


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