Date
22 November 2017
Greece accuses Jeroen Dijsselbloem of trying to blackmail Athens. Photo: Bloomberg
Greece accuses Jeroen Dijsselbloem of trying to blackmail Athens. Photo: Bloomberg

Greece rejects ‘blackmail’, seeks meeting with top EU leaders

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to meet top European leaders at this week’s European Union summit, a Greek official said.

Meanwhile, Athens insisted it would not be “blackmailed” over its debt crisis, Reuters reported.

The country risks 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 it is implementing reforms.

Greece attacked comments by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, who said pressure on Athens was growing and an emergency loan depended on real progress on reforms.

He said he wanted no repetition of events 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”.

Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis accused Dijsselbloem of overstepping his role, saying: “We believe it is unnecessary to remind him that Greece cannot be blackmailed.”

Tsipras wants German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and French President Francois Hollande to join the meeting on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

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CG/FL

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