Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday to discuss the economic progress his country is making under the terms of a multi-billion-euro bailout.
Papandreou is expected to urge Merkel to agree to an extension of the repayment period for Greece’s 110-billion-euro (149-billion- dollar) emergency loan and for a reduction in its interest rate.
The talks with Merkel are among the first in a series of meetings Papandreou will hold with his European counterparts, ahead of a meeting of eurozone chiefs on March 11 and an EU leaders’ summit on March 24-25.
The Greek government is hoping the German chancellor will agree to these changes and will not hold it to adopting a ‘competitive pact,’ which she presented earlier this month with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and which calls for tighter wage controls and retirement ages to be linked to life expectancy.
The meeting is also seen as an opportunity to mend rocky relations between the countries in recent months, according to the Greek daily Kathimerini.
Papandreou will also meet with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle among other officials. He is scheduled to fly to Helsinki on Wednesday for talks with Finland’s Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi.
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