Philip Chrysopoulos published at http://greece.greekreporter.com
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is traveling to Riga today (Thursday) to meet with German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Fransois Hollande hoping that they will offer political aid in unlocking negotiations and coming to a deal on the Greek debt.
Tsipras will meet with the two country leaders on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Latvia that focuses on Eastern European issues. The Greek PM hopes that Merkel and Hollande will spur technical talks in order to expedite a comprehensive deal between Greece and its creditors by the end of May. He will tell his counterparts that Greece has a comprehensive list of reform proposals and is willing to make concessions in order to come to an “honest deal”, as he has publicly stated.
From their part, Merkel and Hollande have said that they want the process of deliberations to be expedited and come to an agreement soon. Tsipras also hopes that he can secure an emergency Eurogroup before the end of May in order to unlock crucial aid.
The Greek government wants low primary surplus targets, no pension and wage cuts, no mass layoffs, debt restructuring and financing for an economic growth plan.
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has recently expressed his worry about the state of the Greek economy, while his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble stated on Wednesday that he could not guarantee that Greece will not default.
The state coffers have less than 800 million euros, while Bank of Greece received on Wednesday 200 million euros from the European Central Bank under the emergency liquidity assistance scheme.
The Greek prime minister is going to Riga with the extra burden of dissent within the SYRIZA party, and especially the so-called left platform. Several SYRIZA cabinet members and lawmakers insist that the austere reforms required by lenders go against the party’s campaign pledges. Some actually call for default and a direct rift with lenders and Europe.