The Greek Government were left under no illusions about their fragile position in the Eurozone after the summit in Brussels yesterday. Leaders from Germany and France warned the left wing Syriza party that unless Athens progressed with radical reforms, it could be forced out of the monetary union, The Times reports.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was given short shrift when he pleaded again for more time as his government try to stick to their election pledges whilst trying to remain part of the Euro and its tight controls.
Speaking to the leaders of the two European power houses, Angela Merkel and President Hollande on the sidelines of the main discussions, it was clear that they wanted less talk and more action.
Chancellor Merkel, who has to placate a restless public back in Germany as well as perform the role of a diplomat in Brussels, thinks that Mr Tsipras is using delaying tactics and said that the next international loads -needed by Greece to pay their bills – could only come if he stuck to the reform commitments he made on February 20th.
Speaking in the Bundesrat, Mrs Merkel told German MPs “There remains a very tough way ahead,”before flying to Brussels. She said Greece needed to understand that the international assistance to avoid it defaulting came with an obligation to “to reform its budget and work towards one day no longer needing help”.
And President Hollande said Athens must comply with its promises for the aid programme to continue.
Eurozone officials were angered by Mr Tsipras’s government pushing through an anti poverty law that EU officials said breached Greece’s commitments to curb debt, including slashed in public salaries and welfare payments.