Gov’t vows to stand firm in talks with lenders

Gov’t vows to stand firm in talks with lenders

The Greek government is hoping that representatives of its four lenders will return to Athens “very soon” but at the same time it is sending out the message that they should not expect the coalition to make major compromises.

Speaking during a regular briefing Tuesday, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said that Athens and the institutions are continuing to exchange information regarding the first bailout review.

“Given these exchanges, we are hopeful that the institutions will return [to Athens] very soon to conclude the review,” she said, indicating, however, that the government is not willing to back down from its key positions.

“Greece is determined to abide by the agreement it signed in July 2015 but it is not prepared to go even half a step beyond that,” she said.

European Council President Donald Tusk, who met Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens Tuesday, said he is “hopeful” that there will soon be an agreement between Greece and its lenders.

The bailout negotiations, along with the refugee crisis, are expected to be at the center of discussions between Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels Wednesday.

Tsipras is due to return from the European Union leaders’ summit on Friday in time for a parliamentary debate on the measures included in the so-called “parallel program” that the government hopes to pass on Saturday. The program contains measures aimed at easing the impact of the crisis on society’s most vulnerable groups.

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