EU's Juncker accuses Tsipras over debt talks claims

Tension between Brussels and Athens grow amid worries about a potential Greek default

EU's Juncker accuses Tsipras over debt talks claims

World Bulletin / News Desk 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker lashed out at Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday, accusing him of misrepresenting recent bailout talks with international creditors to the country's parliament.

“I was a little bit disappointed by the speech of the Greek prime minister at the parliament in Athens last Friday. He was presenting the offer of the three institutions as a take-or-leave offer. That was not the case. That was not the message given to him,” Juncker told reporters ahead of a summit of the G7 group of world’s wealthiest nations in Elmau, Germany.

Tsipras held talks with European officials in Brussels on Wednesday on latest proposals by international creditors on Greece’s bailout. After returning to Athens, Tsipras harshly criticized the creditors’ conditions in a speech in the Greek parliament on Friday.

Juncker lashed out at Tsipras for his remarks, saying that the EU was ready for negotiations on the proposals last Wednesday, but that did not happen due to reservations from Tsipras.

“These negotiations did not happen last Wednesday because the Greek side was not in a position to carry on these negotiations. Even though I was ready for such negotiations,” Juncker said.

“I do not have a personal problem with Alexis Tsipras. On the contrary, he was my friend, he is my friend. But in order to maintain a friendship it has to observe some minimum rules,” he added.

Juncker called on the left-wing Greek leader to come up with new proposals as soon as possible to allow negotiations this week.

“I have not received so far the alternative proposals mentioned by Tsipras. I would need to have studied it before I could have taken a position on it,” he said.

Juncker said that the EU and the Greek side could discuss these alternatives at the margins of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels on 10-11 June.

Asked whether a deadline exists, Juncker said:

“For sure there will be a deadline. But I do not say when. Not because I want to keep things exciting. But I do not want to say anything that could damage Greece.”

Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk are currently in Germany for a G7 summit.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Haziran 2015, 15:50