Tsipras pushes for MEPs to help monitor bailout

Tsipras pushes for MEPs to help monitor bailout

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras remained in Brussels on Thursday to hold talks with Martin Schulz to discuss the possibility of the European Parliament, of which the latter is president, becoming involved in monitoring the Greek bailout.

Tsipras wrote to Schulz on August 19 to ask that the European Parliament join the quartet of lenders currently involved in the bailout. On September 3, Schulz received a mandate from the leaders of the Parliament’s political groups to “explore the possibilities” of this happening with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Greek prime minister is hoping that MEPs’ involvement in the process will help highlight what he believes are the harshness of some measures involved in the lenders’ package.

The content of Thursday's conversation between Tsipras and Schulz is not known but Greece’s creditors are known to oppose any role for the European Parliament as the bailout is part of an intergovernmental procedure.

On Wednesday, Tsipras met with Gianni Pittella, the head of the Socialists and Democrats grouping in Brussels. Pittella favors a greater role for the European Parliament but their discussion also focused on the potential creation of an anti-austerity front.

Tsipras is due in New York later this week for the United Nations General Assembly.

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