|Posted by moodhacker on December 16, 2016 at 11:45 AM|
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday December 16, that the country’s creditors and the Eurogroup, and not Berlin, will decide the outcome of the standoff between Greece and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
"This is not the place for decisions to be taken. That is in good hands with the three institutions and the Eurogroup," Merkel said during a joint press conference before their talks, adding that discussions with Tsipras are not always easy but always candid.
Tsipras arrived in Berlin on Friday, with German media focused on whether Athens sufficiently alerted German authorities about Hussein K., the young Afghan, arrested by German police probing the rape and murder of a 19-year-old student in Freiburg, who had three years earliner been conviced for murder attempt of another student in Greece, but was soon left free on parole by Greek law, was missed by Greek police, and had arrived in Germany as an asyum seeker, and was put in the list of accompanied minors .
The case had dominated German headlines, the Deutsche Welle emphasised.
Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the crime should not be used to target "an entire group" of refugees - amid further debate about her "open-door" policy on refugees of last year, Detsche Welle comments
At their initial press conference, Merkel and Tsipras (pictured above) made no direct reference to the case
The two leaders discussed the refugee crisis, on which Merkel commented to the press that, “Greece has been burdened enormously. We support a fair distribution of refugees in the EU and we cannot abandon Greece to its fate.”
On the deal between Turkey and the European Union about refugee flows, Merkel said, “We will look for ways to maintain and have a better implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement and the difficulties in relations with Turkey that have become tense after the heinous coup.”
On the Cyprus issue, the Greek prime minister said, “Our position is clear on Cyprus. We support a just and sustainable solution without guarantees and an occupying army. An independent united Republic of Cyprus.”
Greece infuriated several Eurozone members, including Germany, after announcing and legislating, a one-off Christmas supplement for low income pensioners. The ESM, which had not been consulted responded by freezing a package of debt relief measures, saying it violated the terms of the bailout deal struck in 2015.
Tsipras went to Berlin hoping to convince Berlin to to intercede in the rift. But Merkel limited herself to saying that she is open to discussions with Tsipras. ,
“The Greek prime minister's assessment of the situation will certainly play a role in our discussions."
Find that article on our Aegean Refugee No Way out Special Page