Greek premier Tspiras 'optimistic' of solution to crisis

(AGI) Brussels, Mar 13 - European Commission PresidentJean-Claude Juncker met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras onFriday "for the second time" since his appointment, a month anda half ago. Although Mr Juncker said he was "not satisfied bythe developments in recent weeks", he excluded the option offailure. Indeed, he observed: "this is not the time fordivision. Now we must work together and follow a pro-Europeanpath". The Greek leader said he was "optimistic" that a solutionto the crisis could be found. At the end of a meeting withPresident of the European Parliament Martin

(AGI) Brussels, Mar 13 - European Commission PresidentJean-Claude Juncker met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras onFriday "for the second time" since his appointment, a month anda half ago. Although Mr Juncker said he was "not satisfied bythe developments in recent weeks", he excluded the option offailure. Indeed, he observed: "this is not the time fordivision. Now we must work together and follow a pro-Europeanpath". The Greek leader said he was "optimistic" that a solutionto the crisis could be found. At the end of a meeting withPresident of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, he stressedthat this is "a common interest " and that "there is no Greekproblem, there is a European problem". As for misunderstandingswith other eurozone countries, "Greece has already startedfulfilling its commitments mentioned in the Eurogroup decisionof Feb. 20, so we are doing our part and we expect our partnersto do theirs". Mr Schulz said Tsipras "is a good friend ofGreece". "I'm happy to be here in Brussels," the Greek primeminister reiterated before meeting Mr Juncker, "to discuss withthe institutions and seek the best way to implement theEurogroup agreement of 20 Feb. ... I'm talking with goodfriends of Greece, and I think if there is political will,everything is possible." However, the 'hawkish' WolfgangSchaeuble did not rule out the possibility of a Grexit and, inan interview with Austrian radio ORF, repeated that theresponsibility lies entirely on the shoulders of Athens. "Tothe extent that Greece is solely responsible and decides whatis to happen, and we don't know exactly what Greek leaders aredoing, we can't exclude it," said the German finance minister. The conversation on Friday morning between Schulz andTsipras was "very intense," said the head of the EuropeanUnion's executive. "If there is incomprehension ormisunderstanding between several eurozone countries and Greece,it must be overcome in order to address not only the immediateproblems but also the long term, starting with youthunemployment."Greece was due to pay on Friday the second tranche - 340million euros - of the 1.5billion-euro IMF loan. "It's allready. The payment will be made later in the day," saidofficial sources. Athens paid the first tranche of 310 millioneuros on Mar. 6. There now remains the third tranche of 580million to be paid by Mar. 16, and the fourth of 350 million byMar. 20. (AGI) .