Monday 19 February 2018

EU's dilemma over new Russian sanctions hands an advantage to Greece in debt talks

A spokesman for new Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, above, said his government had not approved an EU statement on possible further sanctions on Russia.
A spokesman for new Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, above, said his government had not approved an EU statement on possible further sanctions on Russia.

Liam Halligan

So, the gloves are off. Anyone who thought negotiations between the new radical-left Greek government and its creditors were going to be conciliatory, or even rational, must think again.

It is little more than a week since Syriza's seismic election victory and the installation of Alexis Tspiras as prime minister. Yet discussions over Athens' €350bn debt mountain - owed mainly to other eurozone governments, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) - have already turned

Greece and its official creditors are now issuing full-blooded threats and counter-threats, regardless of the impact on financial markets. The Athens stock exchange endured single-day, double-digit percentage falls last week.

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