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 asolution to the crisis could be found. At the end of a meetingwith President 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 asolution to the crisis could be found. At the end of a meetingwith President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, hestressed that this is "a common interest " and that "there isno Greek problem, there is a European problem". As formisunderstandings with other eurozone countries, "Greece hasalready started fulfilling its commitments mentioned in theEurogroup decision of Feb. 20, so we are doing our part and weexpect our partners to do theirs". Mr Schulz said Tsipras "is agood friend of Greece". "I'm happy to be here inBrussels," the Greek prime minister reiterated before meetingMr Juncker, "to discuss with the institutions and seek the bestway to implement the Eurogroup agreement of 20 Feb. ... I'mtalking with good friends of Greece, and I think if there ispolitical will, everything is possible." However, the'hawkish' Wolfgang Schaeuble did not rule out the possibilityof a Grexit and, in an interview with Austrian radio ORF,repeated that the responsibility lies entirely on the shouldersof Athens. "To the extent that Greece is solely responsible anddecides what is to happen, and we don't know exactly what Greekleaders are doing, we can't exclude it," said the Germanfinance minister. The conversation on Friday morningbetween Schulz and Tsipras was "very intense," said the head ofthe European Union'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 secondtranche - 340 million euros - of the 1.5billion-euro IMF loan."It's all ready. The payment will be made later in the day,"said official sources. Athens paid the first tranche of 310million euros on Mar. 6. There now remains the third tranche of580 million to be paid by Mar. 16, and the fourth of 350million by Mar. 20. (AGI) . .