Merkel to meet Greek leader as tensions simmer

Chris Papadopoullos
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Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis
GERMAN chancellor Angela Merkel will welcome the Greek Prime Minister to Berlin on Monday in a bid to further talks amid growing antagonism between the two countries.

Greece successfully repaid €580m (£413m) it owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday, but needs to pay another €350m to the IMF on Friday. Figures released yesterday by the Bank of Greece revealed the government ran a deficit of €684m over January and February after a decline in revenues of over €1bn compared with the same period last year.

One of the country’s big­gest unions, Adedy, yesterday warned the left-wing government not to raid “sacred” social sec­urity and pension funds to help tide over the state finances. Greece will receive a further €7.2bn if it can have a set of reforms approved by its international creditors, but its relations with Ger­many are strained.

Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis yesterday denied “giving the finger” to Germany during an old speech.

“While the Eurozone thinks it has given Greece time to implement the necessary reforms to secure funding, the Greek government seems to think it has been given time to negotiate a new grand bargain with the Euro­zone,” said economist Christian Schulz from Berenberg Bank.

“By using all sorts of pressure points on Germany, from war-time reparations via alleged involvements in corruption scandals of German politicians to geopolitical threats, the Tsipras govern­ment seems to be trying to force Germany into a U-turn.”

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