Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has requested a meeting with top European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel at this week’s EU summit, a Greek official said on Tuesday, as Athens insisted it would not be ‘blackmailed’ over its debt crisis.
Greece is at risk of running out of cash within weeks but its EU partners, angered by the new government’s fiery rhetoric against its international bailout, have frozen financial aid until it shows evidence it is implementing reforms.
The leftist government was elected in January on a promise to scrap the bailout, widely hated for imposing years of austerity on Greeks, but was forced after acrimonious negotiations to accept a four-month extension to the end of June.
With tensions still running high, Greece attacked comments by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, who said that pressure on Athens was growing and it would only get an emergency loan if it made real progress on reforms.
He said he wanted to stop things from going as far as they had in Cyprus in 2013, when “the banks were closed a while, and capital controls – cash flows in the country and out of the country were tied to all manner of conditions”.
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