16th Aug 2022

No outcome from Greece talks in Riga

A two-hour meeting between the leaders of Germany, France, and Greece, ended shortly before 1am on Friday morning (22 May) without any tangible result on a new deal for Greece.

"It was a friendly and constructive exchange but it is also clear work has to be done", German chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Tsipras, Merkel, and Hollande spoke for two hours. (Photo: President of France official website)

She added that Germany and France can "answer Greece’s questions and help her", but that the decision will have to be taken with the three international creditors (the EU, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, or IMF).

“It was agreed that the talks between the Greek government and the institutions will be continued”, noted a joint statement released by the French and German governments.

For his part, the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras, noted: "I am optimistic we can reach a sustainable and viable solution without the mistakes of the past and that Greece will come back … [to] growth".

The talks, between Merkel, French president Francois Hollande, and Tsipras, were held in the margins of a summit in the Latvian capital on EU relations with countries in its eastern neighbourhood.

But despite Tsipras' "optimism", also expressed by some officials earlier in the week, the Riga talks added up to little in terms of decisions.

Before the meeting, Hollande had said it will be “a talk in which we have to be able to draft solutions”.

Greece had said it needs a new deal on its debt before 5 June, otherwise it would default.

A new repayment to the International Monetary Fund is due that day, but if there is no deal by then, “they won't get any money”, a spokesperson for Greek ruling party Syriza said Wednesday, adding that “now is the moment of truth”.

The Greek government has noted it will pay salaries and pensions before it will repay the IMF.

Earlier on Thursday, Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos told journalists he was “convinced” that a deal would be made “in the coming days”.

On Wednesday, finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, had tempered expectations of a possible deal “within a week”, as his Greek colleague Yanis Varoufakis said on Monday.

Schaeuble said his knowledge of “discussions with the three institutions does not back up the optimism arising from announcements from Athens”.

Leaked Juncker plan seeks to avoid Greek default

According to Greek daily To Vima, European Commission president Juncker sent a memo to the Greek government and its creditors proposing to unblock money before a final agreement is found.

Is Greece about to default?

Greece just used emergency funds to pay the IMF and needs to find another €3bn by the end of May. But is it really on the edge of default?

EU keeps former Soviet countries at arm's length

The EU kept former Soviet states at arm's length in the Riga summit, held in the shadow of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. Greece and the UK referendum gatecrashed the event.


Model minority myths

There are many things to love about France. But a stated policy of colour blindness is not one of them.


Model minority myths

There are many things to love about France. But a stated policy of colour blindness is not one of them.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. Germany rejects visa ban for Russian tourists
  2. Iran responds to EU's 'final text' on nuclear deal
  3. Model minority myths
  4. EU must make public who really owns its fishing fleets
  5. Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis
  6. Europe's wildfire destruction set to hit new record
  7. How Putin and Erdoğan are making the West irrelevant
  8. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us