Tensions high as Greek PM flies to Germany for talks with Merkel

 
Kasmira Jefford
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The pressure is mounting on Alexis Tsipras from fellow Eurozone leaders
GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will make his first official visit to Germany today to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel amid mounting tension between the two countries over Germany’s hardline stance to Greece’s debt crisis.

At last week's EU summit, Greece promised to meet creditors’ demands to present an economic reform package to unlock the cash it needs to avoid crashing out of the euro – a dire prospect for Germany, the currency zone’s largest economy.

Despite Merkel’s assurances that she did not expect Tsipras to bring these commitments to Berlin, her own coalition upped the ante by calling for precisely that.

“I expect [Tsipras] to present this list in his talks with the Chancellor,” said Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s Social Democrat coalition partners. “I want to know once and for all if Greece is ready to reform or not."

Greece came under further pressure last night after Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos warned that the Eurozone will not make any cash payment to Greece until all of the earlier reforms agreed on by Athens in February have been implemented.

His comments were made in the Financial Times, which also reported that Tsipras had sent a letter to Merkel on 15 March warning that Greece will not be able service debt obligations due within weeks if the EU fails to provide any short-term financial help.