Tension Athens-Berlin, towards new eurogroup meeeting

'Greek govt irresponsible', Schaeuble. Friday possible new date

16 February, 18:50

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, FEBRUARY 16 - A eurozone finance ministers' meeting that began Monday afternoon in Brussels to seek a solution to the issue of Greek debt may fail to do so. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has asked for more time, while German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called Athens ''irresponsible''. ''I could also say that Germany is irresponsible. Who is irresponsible and who is responsible is subjective'', Ekathimerini quotes Greek government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis as saying. ''But I do not want to drop to the level of insults.'' ''Nothing tangible happened during the weekend and so we are still waiting for Greece to explain to us in detail what it wants from us,'' said Irish finance minister Michael Noonan, adding that another meeting may be held on Friday. ''We do not have much hope that an agreement can be reached today'' on Greece. EU sources concur. All the parties involved say that they seek an agreement, but divisions on what such an accord would entail remain.

    ''We do not want more loans,'' Tsipras reiterated in an interview with the weekly Stern, since ''time is needed, and not money, to bring in reforms.'' Schaeuble responded on Deutschlandfunk Radio on Monday morning by saying that ''I am sorry for the Greeks. They have elected a government that is behaving in a rather irresponsible way at the moment.'' ''Greece,'' he added, ''must understand that it cannot live beyond its means and continue to make proposals on how others have to pay even more.'' Tsipras's idea is ''a win-win solution'' for everyone involved, he told the German weekly, adding that German chancellor Angela Merkel is a ''very kind woman'' and ''not at all severe as one would expect from how she is depicted in the media''. (ANSAmed).

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