PM meets Chancellor Merkel, calls for agreement by end of April

A meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels, on the sidelines of Thursday’s EU summit on immigration, was held in a “constructive and positive climate,” government sources said.

The two sides converged on the issues of the primary surplus for 2015 and 2016, as well as on privatisations, while it was agreed that the general secretariat for public revenues will become an independent authority, following a proposal by Greece, the sources added.

The discussion lasted roughly an hour and noted the significant steps of progress made since the previous meeting between the two leaders in Berlin and progress at the Brussels Group, they said.

Among others, Tsipras asked that the procedures be speeded up so that the February 20 Eurogroup agreement, which foresees a first bridging agreement by the end of April, is adhered to, acknowledging that there’s a short-term liquidity problem which needs to be addressed. The same sources noted that Greece maintains its “red lines”, which concern mainly labour laws, social insurance and VAT.