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Is Greece turning to Russia as EU talks stall?
June 20, 2015, 4:34 am

The shadow of a Greek exit from the eurozone looms as some begin withdrawing monies from local banks [Xinhua]

The shadow of a Greek exit from the eurozone looms as some begin withdrawing monies from local banks [Xinhua]

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described his country’s impasse with its European creditors ahead of a debt repayment deadline as “the center of a storm” as many of his compatriots began to withdraw money from national banks.

According to Reuters quoting banking sources, Greeks have withdrawn some $4.7 billion in the past five days, with $1.4 billon taken out of accounts on Friday alone.

Greeks, and their European counterparts, are nervous 10 days ahead of a deadline for Athens to repay over $1.75 billion to the International Monetary Fund.

Athens says it does not have the monies to do that and wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to release some $8 billion in emergency funds.

On Friday, the ECB said it would provide the Greek Central Bank with more than $2 billion in emergency funding. Two days earlier, it increased the overall total emergency liquidity fund available for Greece from $94.3 to $95.4 billion.

Analysts say that the ECB wants a way out of the impasse for Greece.

But over the past five months, little headway has been made as the Greeks refuse to increase pension cuts as an austerity measure demanded by their European creditors.

The IMF says that up to 75 per cent of public spending is allocated to pension funds.

Meanwhile, Tsipras’ statements at the economic summit hosted by Russia in St. Petersburg hinted that he may seek Moscow’s financial assistance as a way out of the difficult five-month negotiations with European creditors.

“We are at the centre of a storm, of a whirlpool. But you know we live near the sea – we are not afraid of storms, we are not scared of open seas, of going into new seas. We are ready to go into new seas to reach new safe ports,” he said.

He also criticized the EU for its support of sanctions on Russia for the crisis in Ukraine.

“The economic center of the planet has shifted. There are new emerging forces that are playing a more important role geopolitically and economically. International relations are more and more characterized by multi-polarity,” said Tsipras.

Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told the media that Russian aid to Greece had not been discussed during Tsipras’ meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

However, during a press briefing with global media agencies late Friday, Putin said that the EU had not done enough to help Greece emerge from its financial crisis.

“If EU wants Greece to pay its debts it should be interested in growing the Greek economy … helping it pay its debts,” he said.

Putin said that a deal signed on Friday to extend a pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe through Turkey would greatly benefit the Greek economy; Moscow has said it would pay Athens pipeline transit payments to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars for the pipeline expected to be completed in four years.

“The EU should be applauding us. What’s wrong with creating jobs in Greece?” Putin said in remarks carried by the Associate Press.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

2 Responses to Is Greece turning to Russia as EU talks stall?

  1. andrew dock Reply

    July 7, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I have just found this site this is wonderful I wish it was also a tv station; best wishes and can we have more articles on Asian family values v the anything goes of the west.

  2. andrew dock Reply

    July 7, 2015 at 10:49 am

    More on Asian culture please.

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