Tsipras to meet Merkel as new reforms are rejected

Chris Papadopoullos
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Tsipras is aiming to get support from Merkel and Hollande when they meet in Brussels
GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was yesterday dealt a blow in his quest to secure a cash-for-reforms deal with the country’s creditors, as EU officials said the latest set of submitted proposals were not sufficient.

He will attempt to garner political support today from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels.

A spokesman for the European Commission said yesterday that Brussels had received a new set of proposals from Athens, which were being mulled over. However, unnamed officials said the new list was not up to scratch.

“What has been submitted is not sufficient to move the process forward,” one official told Reuters. Another said it was “not sufficient and not acceptable to member states”.

Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem further dampened hopes of a deal when he said that Greek optimism was “an underestimation of the complexity of what is being required from them.”

It fuels further pessimism that Greece and its creditors will ultimately fail to reach an agreement.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday outlined the areas of disagreement, which include restructuring Greece’s giant debt, pension cuts and labour market reform.

But Slovak finance minister Peter Kazimir recently took to Twitter to say that debt restructuring is “not on the table”. He urged Greece to complete its austerity programme, which is anathema to Greece’s socialist leaders.

Without an agreement, Greece will not be able to receive bailout cash. One Greek official previously told City A.M. that it was touch-and-go as to whether Greece would be able to pay both public sector wages and pensions this month as well as a debt of €1.6bn (£1.17bn) owed to the International Monetary Fund at the end of June.

They also said that even if a deal was reached soon, bailout funds may not reach Greece before the end of the month.