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Greece is changing its tune on talking to the Troika

It’s a huge shift in policy.

Image: Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

NEW GREEK PRIME Minister Alexis Tsipras has given his officials the go-ahead to talk to the country’s lenders, marking a huge shift in policy.

Tsipras, whose hard-left Syriza party had claimed they would not talk to the Troika, has changed tack ahead of a meeting with the country’s creditors on Monday.

Tsipras, the leftist leader elected by austerity-weary Greeks last month, agreed that Athens would start technical talks with eurozone partners today in a bid to find common ground before a last ditch meeting of finance ministers on Monday.

But with Greece facing a possible exit from the euro when its €240 billion EU-IMF bailout expires at the end of February, Tsipras kept talking tough during his first summit with the other 27 European Union leaders.

“Greece will not blackmail or be blackmailed,” Tsipras said in a press conference after the talks in Brussels.

He insisted that Greece would ditch the hated “troika” of creditors — the EU, IMF and European Central Bank — which oversees the bailout programme and carries out inspections to see that Greece is living up to its punishing reform commitments.

However, he has given Greek officials permission to begin talks on a deal.

Read: Greece’s bailout expires at the end of February – and no-one knows what will happen next

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