EU’s Moscovici heads to Greece for debt talks

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Afp, Brussels

Top EU economic affairs official Pierre Moscovici heads to Athens for talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday in an effort to unblock bailout negotiations.

Months of failed talks between Athens and its eurozone and IMF creditors have alarmed markets and raised fears of a new debt crisis that could again jeopardise Greece’s place in the euro. “Intensive meetings are taking place and I will myself visit Athens on Wednesday,” Moscovici told reporters in Brussels on Monday. The former French finance minister said he would meet with Tsipras as well as Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during the visit.

Moscovici, who is considered an ally of the Greek government, said that all sides should avoid any needless instability, calling Greece a potential “success story”. “We cannot, just like that, bring a crisis to the recovery in Greece amid global uncertainty,” he said.

Tsipras on Saturday warned that the International Monetary Fund, as well as hardline Germany, should “stop playing with fire”.

Talks on Friday between Athens and its creditors failed to end the stalemate, though Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said substantial progress had been made.