Greek gov’t angles for compromise on debt relief


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos Tuesday sought to rally the members of leftist SYRIZA’s political committee amid doubtful prospects for a Eurogroup meeting on June 15 on aid and debt relief for Greece.

According to sources, the committee agreed that the goal would be to secure a “reference in the [meeting’s] written conclusions which leaves open the matter of debt sustainability.”

Meanwhile Tsakalotos appealed to Greece’s creditors once again for “clarity”on the prospects for debt relief for Greece.

“With good will on all sides we can reach an agreement at the June Eurogroup,” Tsakalotos told Germany’s Handelsblatt. However there appeared to be little momentum in preparatory talks with a Euro Working Group planned for Tuesday being cancelled without explanation.

As the outlook for a meaningful offering from creditors on Greek debt appears unlikely, government officials are aiming to secure a larger chunk of bailout funding, according to sources.

At Tuesday’s session of SYRIZA officials, Tsipras and Tsakalotos reportedly set out and analyzed three possible scenarios: the first involving the International Monetary Fund’s full participation in the Greek program, the second foreseeing its withdrawal and the third its participation in the form of technical support but without funding. The third option is considered the most likely though it remains unclear how Tsipras and his aides will put a positive spin on it.

Although most of the members of SYRIZA’s political committee expressed their support for the government some of those aligned with the so-called Group of 53 radical faction underlined their concern over the series of concessions made by Greek authorities to the country’s creditors.


In a related development, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said the Fund is willing to participate in a Greek bailout and give European creditors more time to settle an ongoing dispute over debt relief.

“If the creditors are not yet at that stage where they can agree on and respect our assumptions, if it takes them more time to get there, we can acknowledge that and give them a bit more time,” Lagarde told Handelsblatt.

Lagarde reiterated that any financial backing by the Fund would have to be preceded by debt relief.