Greek Tsipras’ visit to Putin has concluded without financial packages being talked about, and yet Greece was able to pay $450 million to IMF on time. Find out how…
Video intro: Greece and Russia flirt but no finance deals the Toronto Orchestra tells us why it censors musicians, and an American police officer is charged with murder for shooting an unarmed black man.
Merkel Powerbase at Risk as Tsipras Courts Putin
Despite Tsipras being atheist, he is keen to play-up the Orthodox Christian bond between Greece and Russia, which will play well to the significant population of Greek descendants who make up large communities in Moscow and St Petersburg. He even laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Having paid off its latest loan ($490m) to the International Monetary Fund on April 9, all eyes are on the next payment Greece will have to make every week in April and the further $7.75 billion it will have to find in May and June, while struggling to pay its own government staff and state pensions.
Greece Exit or Russian Sanctions?
By going to Moscow, Tsipras is playing a grand game. Germany’s Angela Merkel is on record as having said a Greek Exit from the Euro would mean the end of the European dream. Many analysts believe a Grexit would consign the Euro to a less valuable currency, with countries able to pick and choose when and how they adopt it. It would devalue the brand.
“We need to leave behind this vicious cycle,” Tsipras told reporters.
“Greece is a sovereign country with an unquestionable right to implement a multi-dimensional foreign policy and exploit its geopolitical role.”
Merkel is facing her own demons at home. She is aware of anti-Greek bailout sentiment on the streets and is also squeezed politically between the more conservative elements in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Under pressure to make Greece put an end to its culture of tax avoidance and reform its economy, Merkel is stuck between being seen to be tough on Greece and fearing the effect of a Grexit on the rest of Europe.
“The visit could not have come at a better time,” Putin told reporters during Tsipras’ visit this week.
Well, both the body and the language says it all 😉
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