On the sidelines of a summit in Malta on the refugee problem on Thursday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also discussed Greece's negotiations with creditors with Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
According to sources, Tsipras gave his interlocutors data reflecting the current situation of the Greek economy and briefed them on the negotiations and the need to resolve outstanding issues so a 2-billion-euro loan tranche and bank recapitalization funding can be released.
Speaking in Brussels, EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters that there has been progress in the talks. He added that the Euro Working Group is to meet early next week to decide on whether the conditions have been met to release the 2 billion euros.
As for the refugee crisis, Tsipras said on Thursday that the only efficient way to curb the influx of desperate people trying to reach Europe was by setting up reception centers on the Turkish coast.
According to sources, Tsipras told Juncker that he wants to be fully briefed on the EC's exchange with Turkey on the refugeee problem and once again rejected the prospect of "joint patrols" between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean, insisting instead on "coordinated activities" which reflects the need for each country to operate within the confines of their territorial waters.