Tsipras meeting German opposition as Athens promises reform list by Monday | News | DW | 24.03.2015

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Tsipras meeting German opposition as Athens promises reform list by Monday

Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis says Athens will send its list of reforms demanded by international creditors by next Monday. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is meeting opposition politicians in Berlin.

Sakellaridis told Greek Mega television on Tuesday that during Tsipras' crisis talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday numerous "points of convergence" had emerged.

"It will be done at the latest by Monday," Sakellaridis said, adding that Tsipras had only presented Merkel with the "outlines of the reform plans."

Sakellaridis said the package of reforms Athens would propose would not contain recessionary measures but structural changes.

Griechenland Regierungssprecher Gabriel Sakellaridis

Government spokesman Sakellaridis lauded progress made with Merkel on Monday

In Berlin, Tsipras met the leader of the German Left party, Gregor Gysi (pictured at top of story), on Tuesday, at the start of his second day in the German capital.

The chancellery in Berlin said that Merkel's five hours of talks with the Greek premier were conducted in a "good and constructive atmosphere."

Schulz hopeful

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica quoted European Parliament President Martin Schulz as saying that he expected Athens to reach an agreement with its eurozone partners within a week to grant Athens much-needed cash.

"I think by the end of this week a new deal will be reached that should be sufficient to release the most urgent financing," Schulz said, adding that Greece would have "not more than three months" to present a credible plan containing more details.

Further talks in Berlin

On Tuesday, Tsipras was set to meet Social Democrats (SPD), who are partners in Merkel's federal coalition government. He met Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a hotel near Potsdamer Platz and was later due to visit Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

SPD parliamentary group leader Thomas Oppermann told German Deutschlandfunk public radio early on Tuesday that a Greek exit from the euro currency would be a "political disaster."

Tsipras was also scheduled to meet leaders of Germany's opposition Greens and the Left Party on Tuesday.

Left party co-leader Katja Kipping said she hoped Tsipras' visit to Berlin had generated more understanding in Germany of the financial hardship faced by Greeks.

They were suffering under "enormous social problems," Kipping told German ARD public television.

Greeks elected Tsipras' leftist Syriza party in January on a pledge to end painful austerity policies. Eurozone creditors have been pressing Tsipras' cabinet to reach budgetary targets similar to those agreed by past Greek administrations

Greece's creditors agreed in February to extend its 240-billion euro ($260-billion) bailout by four months but only in exchange for further reforms. Last week, Athens said it needed funds to avoid bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro.

ipj/msh (AP, dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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