NEWS

Tsakalotos starts European charm offensive in Rome

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Starting a tour of European capitals where he is to meet his peers for talks on the implementation of Greece's bailout program, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was in Rome on Friday. 

Tsakalotos was to meet with his Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan and other officials before traveling on to Lisbon, Paris and then Berlin, according to the ministry. 

Apart from Greece's progress in enforcing measures agreed with the country's creditors ahead of the first review of the third bailout program, officials are to discuss the question of Greece's debt burden.

During his meeting on Thursday with representatives of Greek employers' organizations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his conviction that "we are one step before significant positive decisions that will lead to the launch of talks on the reduction of the debt."

Tsakalotos is to meet with Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Tuesday for talks and then with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday.

The outcome of the meetings is being keenly anticipated in view of Schaeuble's continued hard line opposite Athens and Dijsselboem's assessment on Thursday that a review of the Greek program is likely to take months rather than weeks.

"There can only be a successful completion of the first review if there is an agreement on all the open issues — and the pension reform is the biggest one,” Dijsselbloem said.