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    Greek national flags are on display at a shop in central Athens April 17, 2015

    Greece to Benefit From Better Ties With Russia – Greek Energy Minister

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    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)
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    The demands Greece's creditors had put forward could hardly lead to any compromise, Panagiotis Lafazanis said, citing it as the reason why Athens would need an alternative source of assistance.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) — Russia might be an alternative source of "substantial financial" benefits to Greece amid its debt crisis, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the Greek minister for energy and the environment, said.

    "The development of Greece-Russia relations could contribute to substantial financial and energy-related benefits for my country. This could help Greece extricate itself from one-sided dependencies and gain more independence… and contribute to higher security and stability," Lafazanis told the Telegraph on Friday.

    The demands Greece's creditors had put forward could hardly lead to any "acceptable compromise" and a common stance, he added, citing it as the reason why Greece would need an alternative source of assistance.

    The further development of Greek-Russian relations in all fields would be "absolutely compatible" with Greece's presence in the European Union, Lafazanis stressed.

    Greece was particularly hard-hit by the aftereffects of the 2008 economic crisis, quickly going into a multibillion debt by accepting large loans offered by the international lenders, which included the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB).

    To date, the country’s national debt is estimated at some $350 billion.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem met in Brussels late Wednesday to discuss what Greece could do to get more funding from the lenders. According to Juncker, talks reached very little progress.

    Greece was due to make a scheduled $330-million repayment to the IMF on Friday, but decided to skip the deadline. Athens said it would make all of its four IMF debt repayments in one go before the end of June, when Greece's bailout deal with the three creditors expires.

    The Greek authorities also rejected to carry out complex and unpopular economic reforms, as had been proposed by the European lenders.

    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)


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