Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested on Tuesday a special five-party meeting of European leaders shortly before Thursday’s EU summit on the Greek debt crisis, Greek government sources said.
Tsipras also planned visits to Germany next week and Russia in early April, as the debt-laden country faces a cash shortage risk in coming weeks.
In a telephone conversation with European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday, Tsipras called for a meeting with the latter, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva implied that there was such a request and the matter was being examined, the Greek news agency AMNA reported.
In an interview with a Greek daily on Monday, Tsipras said that he expected that the Greek cash shortage issue could be resolved on a political level even before the March 19 EU summit.
The Greek leader received an official invitation by Merkel to visit Berlin on March 23 and a second invitation to pay a visit to Moscow and hold talks with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 8, according to his office.
Athens puts particular emphasis on the talks with the German leader amidst efforts to ease tensions caused by remarks of Greek and German officials in recent weeks over the management of the Greek debt crisis.
The Greek government was under increasing pressure to improve ties with the country’s creditors and persuade them to release in coming weeks further aid, as state coffers were depleting.
According to the latest Finance Ministry estimates, Greece’s 2014 primary surplus was revised downwards to 0.3 percent of GDP from a 1.5 percent figure estimated by the previous conservative-led government.
The new government acknowledged a 2.2 billion euros(2.34 billion U.S. dollars) shortfall in revenues which, according to local financial analysts, will most likely make even more difficult the ongoing negotiations with lenders for the terms of the disbursement of fresh funding to Athens.
Under the Eurogroup February 20 deal which bridges the expired in February four-year bailout with a final comprehensive agreement on the Greek crisis due in June, Athens will receive funds again after the completion of a review of its finances by the institutions in April. Technical teams are currently working on this assessment. Enditem