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1 July 2015

Greece bows to creditor demands – but Germany looks ahead to referendum

Alexis Tsipras has conceded to all but minor aspects of Greece's creditors, but Berlin says it won't negotiate until after the referendum.

By New Statesman

The Greek government has accepted the bulk of the creditors’ conditions in a letter obtained by the Financial Times.  

Greece’s premier, Alexis Tspiras, has conceded on all but minor aspects, asking to delay the increase of the retirement age to October, and to keep a VAT exception for the country’s most remote islands. He also requests that a “solidarity grant” for Greece’s poorest pensioners, be phased out over a longer timeframe. 

In an address to the German Bundestag, Angela Merkel indicated Berlin will not enter further negotiations until Monday.

Discussing Tsipiras’ letter, Merkel stressed the importance of the will of the Greek people, telling the house that “we are now waiting for the referendum”.

She emphasised, however, that “the EU is a community” and that there is “a stability culture in the Eurozone” which must be respected. This is not only about money but “the ability to compromise”. 

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Speaking from Athens, Tspiras vowed to press ahead with the referendum, due to take place on Sunday.

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