Greek PM says 'confident' about eurozone talks: report

15th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he was "confident" about progress in renegotiating Greece's debt at a crucial eurozone meeting on Monday, in an interview with German media.

The left-wing government of debt-hit Greece wants to end a punishing austerity programme that their centre-right predecessors agreed to in return for international bailout funds.

"We don't need money, we need time to realise our reform plans," Tsipras was quoted as saying by German news weekly Stern on Sunday.

"I promise you Greece will be a different country in six months."

Monday's meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels will be a high-stakes gamble that could see Greece forced out of the eurozone if a deal is not found by the end of the month.

"I expect difficult negotiations on Monday. However, I am confident," Tsipras said. "I draw strength from the support of the people."

He also said: "I'm looking for a solution in which all sides win. I want a win-win solution. I want to save Greece from tragedy and prevent Europe from being divided."

To reach a deal, Greece will need the backing of Europe's biggest economy and effective paymaster, Germany.

Speaking about his brief meeting last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Tsipras said: "I perceived her as a polite person. She is not as strict as the media make her out to be."

Above all, he said, he saw Merkel as a pragmatic politician who would not want to jeopardise the future of Europe.

© 2015 AFP

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