Europe waits for proposals from Athens

Europe waits for proposals from Athens

European officials believe that there is scope for an agreement with the new Greek government but that Athens will have to accept a compromise on its demands.

Officials in Brussels told Kathimerini that they are waiting to find out more information about the SYRIZA-led coalition’s plans but there is an appetite among eurozone members for a compromise to be found. “It is in nobody’s interests for there to be a rift with Athens,” one high-level source in Brussels told Kathimerini. “But if the government proceeds with some of the measures it has announced then it will be impossible to reach an agreement.”

European officials are examining the role and makeup of the troika, with the aim of giving member states a greater role. They are also open to hearing new proposals from Athens on how to cover the fiscal gap, but are not so flexible on the idea of relaxing fiscal targets.

“The targets are not fiscal waterboarding, they are there to make Greece sustainable again,” said a European official.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed the idea of a debt haircut for Greece but suggested that Berlin would be willing to discuss other suggestions that the new coalition might have.

“The goal of our policy was and is that Greece remains a permanent part of the euro community,” Merkel told German daily Die Welt in an interview published in its Saturday edition.

“To that end, Greece and the European partners make their contribution. Apart from that, I am now waiting to see what concepts the Greek government will present.”

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