Merkel rejects Greek government's bid for further debt relief

German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out the possibility of offering Greece more debt relief on Saturday and stated that she doesn't see "a further debt haircut" in the debt-ridden country's future.

The decision came as a blow to the new Greek government as they had promised voters that they would put anti-austerity measures in place and demand neighbouring countries to write off part of its 320 billion euro ($360 billion) debt.

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Greek finance minister in Paris for debt talks

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is in Paris meeting with international creditors, as the country's new leftist leadership seeks to renegotiate huge debts.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. Credit: Reuters.

The meeting is taking place a day earlier than planned. He will then travel to London and Rome.

France's socialist government is open to renegotiating terms but opposed to forgiving any of the Greek debt.

Merkel rules out 'debt haircut' for Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out the possibility of offering Greece more debt relief and stated that she doesn't see "a further debt haircut" in the debt-ridden country's future.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will not offer Greece more debt relief Credit: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Merkel's comments came as she and her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced that they were rejectingthe new Greek government's demands to write off part of its 320 billion euro ($360 billion) debt.

She told German's daily newspaper Die Welt: "There was already a voluntary waiver by private creditors; Greece has already been exempt from billions by the banks."


New Greek PM announces anti-austerity measures

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Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced a series of measures which signalled his intent to stick to the anti-austerity pledges that saw the party win last week's election.

He has announced plans to:

  • Halt privatisation agreed under the country's bailout deal, including the sale of a stake in the country's largest electricity company, Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC).
  • Reinstate public sector employees judged to have been laid off without proper justification.
  • Increase pension payments for retired people on low incomes.

The measures could set the country on course for a clash with the rest of Europe, especially Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help the country pay its debts. But Tsipras remains defiant.

We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country

– Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister

Greek bank stocks have fallen by more than 22% today in a third day of turmoil following Tsipras' election success.

New Greek government facing a tight timetable for negotiation

Time is short for Greece's new government to find room for compromise, in just two weeks time Alexis Tsipras will be heading to his first European summit.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates has more on the tight timetable facing Greece:

Hard negotiations lie ahead for new Greek government

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has yet to react to the result in Greece, but her finance ministry in Berlin said there can be no new restructuring of Greece's debts - though it may be given more time to complete its current programme of reforms and repayments.

From Berlin ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports.


Cameron calls Tsipras to discuss Greece's economic challenges

David Cameron has called his Greek counterpart to congratulate him on his victory. While the pair did discuss Alexis Tsipras' intenet to tackle corruption there was no sign of them discussing the austerity measures Tsipras is seeking to overturn.

The Prime Minister called Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to congratulate him on being elected as the new Greek Prime Minister. Prime Minister Tsipras thanked the Prime Minister for the call and set out the immediate issues that his Government would be focusing on, in particular in tackling Greece’s economic challenges.

The Prime Minister welcomed Prime Minister Tsipras’ intention to tackle corruption and increase tax transparency across Greece and said that as a key advocate of these issues, the UK was keen to work closely with the Greek government.

– Number 10 spokesperson

Greek government will look firm while seeking compromise

The Greek government will be trying to state some firm positions, while behind the scenes some shadow boxing and looking for areas of compromise will be the order of the day.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from Athens:

Germany 'the policeman of Europe' unhappy with Greek plans

Talk of Greece renegotiating its debt austerity package has not gone down well in Germany, often seen as the policemen of Europe.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports from Berlin on the German reaction to the new Greek government.

New Greek government sends shockwaves across Europe

Greece swore in its new government today ending instability there for the time being but the election of the Syriza party sent shockwaves across Europe.

In an unusual pairing, the far left Syriza party joined forces with the far right Independent Greeks to form a coalition bent on putting an end to the painful austerity measures which, they say, have shattered the country's economy.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from Athens:

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