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Tsipras to meet Germany's opposition left

After little concrete progress despite a friendly tone in bailout negotiations with Germany's conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to meet leftist leaders in Berlin.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to meet leaders of Germany's opposition Left and Green parties Tuesday, meetings that could heighten the distrust felt by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives toward the prime minister as he struggles to secure the bailout funds needed to keep his debt-ridden nation afloat.

Tsipras and Merkel concluded a five hour meeting just before midnight on Monday with little sign of a breakthrough in ongoing bailout negotiations.

"The chancellor and the Greek prime minister had a comprehensive discussion in a good and constructive atmosphere about the situation in Greece, the procedures of the European Union and future German-Greek cooperation," Chancellor Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said late Monday.

But thus far, Tsipras and his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis have been unable to reach an accord with Merkel's conservatives, who insist Greece implement strict austerity measures and remain skeptical of Greek financial reform proposals.

Merkel also stressed that Germany was only one of the eurozone nations responsible for deciding whether Greece can be granted additional funds.

Berlin Tsipras bei Merkel

Merkel and Tsipras made little progress after five hours of negotiations

"Today we can only talk about things," Merkel said, characterizing the meetings as being held in "a spirit of trust."

Tsipras will hold talks Tuesday morning with Left party leaders Katja Kipping and Gregor Gysi, followed by afternoon meetings with Greens co-leaders Cem Özdemir and Simone Peter.

Long memories

Tsipras, whose leftist Syriza party swept to power in recent elections, is negotiating with Greece's biggest creditor to secure more favorable bailout terms for his nation. But the talks have become tainted in recent weeks by name-calling and mounting tensions over Greece's demands that Germany pay war reparations for crimes committed by the Nazis.

Germany has repeatedly said it has honored all of its wartime obligations, and Chancellor Merkel reiterated those sentiments today.

But several left-leaning politicians said for the first time last week that Germany should consider paying reparations to Greece for crimes committed by the Nazis during World War II.

"We should make a financial approach to victis and their families," said respected Social Democratic Party member Gesine Schwan. "Victims and descendants have longer memories than perpetrators and descendants," she added.

Greens co-leader Anton Hofreiter echoed those sentiments, calling the issue of reparations "neither morally nor legally closed."

Holocaust Denkmal Berlin

Tsipras' Holocaust memorial visit may highlight his nation's demand for WWII reparations

Tsipras to visit Holocaust memorial

Meanwhile, Tsipras' office announced the prime minister plans to visit Berlin's Holocaust memorial on Tuesday, a move that could highlight his government's demands for reparations, which Tsipras has called "a moral issue."

"We aren't linking it to the current discussion on the European crisis and Greece's position in the eurozone, and the need to quickly find a solution to move forward," Tsipras said of the call for reparations.

"It's primarily a moral issue and not a material one," he said.

Berlin's Holocaust memorial, designed by American Peter Eisenmen, honors the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and consists of 2,711 large concrete slabs displayed prominently in the center of the city.

bw/rc (AP, Reuters, dpa)