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Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras’ stalling tactics with the EU, Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel are wearing thin with world press analysts.

Here are some excerpts:

Greece and Germany, All Talk and No Action

CNBC – Holly Ellyatt

There may have been a thawing in the permafrost between Greece and Germany Monday when Alexis Tsipras and Angela Merkel met in Berlin to discuss how Athens could avoid falling into default, but economists remain skeptical and are questioning how long it will take for concrete reforms to get going …

On Tuesday morning, a Greek government official said that the country was going to present a reform package to the Eurogroup of finance ministers by next Monday at the latest, Reuters reported …

Speaking to Greek television network Mega TV, spokesman Gabriel Sakellardis said Athens hoped the reforms would lead to the Eurogroup releasing much-needed cash for Greece. The reforms, he said, would not contain recessionary measures but structural changes …

The chief economist at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) told CNBC that while the meeting showed improvement in relations between the two countries, action needed to follow Tsipras’ promises …

“The two heads of government they tried to show an improvement in the relationship but there are still a lot of substantial differences between Greece and Germany and this was clear yesterday as well,” Alexander Schumann told CNBC Tuesday …

Other economists agreed that the Merkel meeting was not a resounding success for Greece. Carsten Brzeski, a senior economist at ING based in Brussels, said Tuesday that “all in all and as expected, yesterday’s meeting was not a great breakthrough in the Greek crisis.”

Deadlines Near as Germany, Greece Seek Debt Consensus

New York Times – Alison Smale

With time running ever shorter for an accord to ease Greece’s debt crisis and cash crunch, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met on Monday and sought at least to take the sting out of venomous exchanges between Athens and Berlin in recent weeks.

After an hour of talks, the two leaders were guarded at a news conference, and indicated no breakthrough in resolving Greece’s debt troubles or its increasingly contentious negotiations with its European Union partners, who are demanding fresh reforms before offering more money to Athens …

While talks over those difficult issues are certain to continue for weeks, the meeting Monday was more notable for the attempt by the two leaders to lower the temperature of the public sparring between Greece and Germany, respectively Europe’s most troubled economy and its strongest.

Four weeks after undertaking to do so, Athens has yet to present a list of detailed reforms that it would carry out to get the next installment of credit from its three main creditors — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, which is acting on behalf of the 18 other members of the eurozone.

The Greek failure to present clear demands has infuriated many Germans, with public opinion polls showing emotions rising against further rescue. In financial markets, analysts have talked more openly of the rising threat of a Greek exit, accidental or not, from the euro, although most still consider this unlikely …

Greece’s Unhappy Marriage

The New York Times – James Angelos

These days, many Greeks see themselves fighting against a new foreign domination: that imposed by the country’s emergency creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — known collectively as the “troika.” Independence day has therefore become a moment to reflect on what many in Greece call the “economic occupation” of their country …

For the past five years, the troika, in exchange for two massive bailout loan programs, has dictated Greek domestic policies — from wage cuts and tax reforms to changes in regulations on the shelf life of pasteurized milk.

Troika technocrats have regularly visited Athens to check on the Greek government’s compliance; failure to conform means the withholding of scheduled payments that allow Greece to continue servicing its vast debts. Greece, in short, has been forced to do as outsiders tell it — or face an uncontrolled default and euro exit. …

On the January night that Mr. Tsipras gave his election victory speech, there was one little-noticed irony. He chose to speak in front of a neoclassical University of Athens building constructed during Otto’s reign, and the colorful frieze directly above him depicted a mustached Otto sitting on his throne. P

Pictures taken of Mr. Tspiras that night with his hands held up in victory show Otto hovering directly above him, as if having risen from his Bavarian grave to remind Greeks that, despite their declarations of independence, they remain reliant on their creditors.

As it has for nearly two centuries, Greece will remain dependent on its richer, more powerful neighbors, while bristling at their interference in domestic affairs. It’s an unhappy marriage, but it’s likely to endure. After all, both sides have deemed separation the only thing worse than muddling through together.

Source: The National Herald
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