NEWS

PM calls EU leaders, seeking to break impasse

TAGS: Economy, Diplomacy, Politics

Concerned that Greece is making international headlines again for all the wrong reasons, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is contacting European leaders in a bid to reverse the negative outlook, which is threatening to derail the government’s efforts to regain the confidence of a wary electorate and international markets.

Government sources have made no secret of their concerns how the coverage of Greece’s financial predicament, due to the impasse in talks with its international creditors, will play out.

Greek bond yields have already been impacted by recent reports while any economic progress made so far remains precarious.

The negative media coverage is also threatening to further undermine the highly optimistic narrative cultivated by the leftist-led coalition in recent months outlining the way out of the financial crisis.

A poll by the University of Macedonia published on Monday suggested Tsipras’s rhetoric is not having the desired impact at home, as Greeks appear unconvinced by the government’s narrative, with 85.5 percent of respondents seeing little to be hopeful about in the near term.

Moreover, the survey showed that the gap between main opposition New Democracy and ruling SYRIZA is at 16 points – with the parties on 32.5 and 16.5 percent respectively.

As Tsipras is fully aware that negotiations leading up to the June 15 Eurogroup must not be left solely in the hands of technical staff, he had phone conversations Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Donald Tusk.

What is clear is that Athens wants to avoid being confronted with a proposal forged behind the scenes by the International Monetary Fund and Berlin which will not take into consideration the goals and needs of the Greek side.

With this in mind, Tsipras outlined to all three what he believes should be the framework of a comprehensive solution that will also include debt relief.

The government has also intimated that the campaign to make Greece’s debt sustainable should be joined by other parties as well as it is a national cause.

SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis went as far as saying that a meeting of political party leaders should be convened to forge a common front on the issue.

Online