Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Friday discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande the necessity of the institutions’ mission chiefs returning to Athens as soon as possible to continue the first bailout review.
Greek government sources said Tsipras was encouraged by the response he received from the two leaders on the sidelines of the European Council in Brussels, where the focus was on discussions with Britain regarding the concessions it has asked for from the European Union.
Sources said that Merkel and Hollande agreed that the review should be wrapped up as soon as possible and pledged to take action to accelerate the return of the mission chiefs to Athens. Tsipras and his team are said to have been encouraged by the leaders’ response, which left them hopeful that the eurozone will not be swayed by the International Monetary Fund’s demands, especially regarding pension reform.
Tsipras is due to return to Athens Saturday so he can take part in the debate and vote on the so-called “parallel program,” which was submitted to Parliament Friday.
Although it was not clear if the summit would end in time for Tsipras to return, passing the draft law was one of the government’s election pledges as it aims to provide assistance to the most vulnerable social groups. Uninsured Greeks, for instance, will receive free healthcare under the provisions of the bill.