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Yanis Varoufakis is pictures, as the crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics

Yanis Varoufakis is pictures, as the crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics

AP

Mrs Merkel’s invitation to Mr Tsipras was widely seen as an attempt to rescue relations after negotiations between Yannis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble reached breaking point (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

Mrs Merkel’s invitation to Mr Tsipras was widely seen as an attempt to rescue relations after negotiations between Yannis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble reached breaking point (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

REUTERS

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Yanis Varoufakis is pictures, as the crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics

The crisis talks between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek PM, have taken place at a time of considerable anger in Germany over the Syriza government's aggressive negotiating tactics.

Mrs Merkel's invitation to Mr Tsipras was widely seen as an attempt to rescue relations after negotiations between Yannis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble reached breaking point. Mr Tsipras had been angling for the talks in an attempt to go over Mr Schäuble's head.

Mr Tsipras's government has been widely seen as making promises to its EU partners to secure an extension on its bail-out, only to renege on them as soon as the deal was secured. And relations have been worsened by Athens' attempts to link demands for reparations for the Nazi occupation of Greece during the Second World War to the bail-out.

Mrs Merkel's government has so far refused to discuss the issue, insisting Second World War reparations were finally settled by the treaty that reunified Germany in 1990.

But leading politicians from her junior coalition partner have joined calls for the issue to be reopened.

Mr Tsipras's government has threatened to seize German assets in Greece if Berlin refuses to pay reparations.

'Bild' newspaper yesterday reported that the Syriza government was also preparing to demand €100m in compensation for alleged corruption by German companies in arms deals.

Ultimately the crisis talks are just the latest attempt to stave off the threat of a Greek exit from the euro.

But more immediately, there have been fears Greece could run out of money this month, and be unable to pay civil servants' salaries as well as a €476m tranche of an IMF loan due on April 9.

A report in 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntag' newspaper over the weekend citing internal EU Commission figures said that Greece had enough money to meet its debts until early April.

But it warned that Greece could be unable to meet its repayment to the IMF on April 9, or to refinance short-term government bonds worth €2.4bn in mid-April.(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk