Tsipras 'optimistic' over Greece's debt talks with EU

- Anti-austerity prime minister undertakes European tour in bid to renegotiate terms of Greece's debt burden.

By Ilgin Karlidag

BRUSSELS (AA) – Greece and the EU are heading in a ''good direction'' towards finding an agreement over the country's €240 billion bailout, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said.

Tsipras's comment came on Wednesday as he attended talks in Brussels in a push for new terms for Greece on its debt burden.

Speaking at a joint press conference with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, he said: ''I’m very optimistic that we will try to do our best in order to find a common, viable and mutually acceptable solution for our common future ..."

''I am very optimistic that these discussions are in a good way - of course we don’t have already an agreement - but are in a good direction towards find a viable agreement.''

Martin Schulz echoed the positive outlook from Tsipras, who attended a separate meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, saying: ''I’m very optimistic after our meeting today that both sides are fighting for mutual understanding."

''Ordinary citizens in Greece paid the bill durıng the last years and it is now time that those who have money ... that those who brought their money out of the country, contribute to the solutions of the problems as well.''

- 'Difficult negotiations'

However, European Council President Donald Tusk, who also met with Tsipras on Wednesday, warned that negotiations between Greece and the Eurozone would be ''difficult''.

Tusk said in a statement after meeting Tsipras: ''Those negotiations will take place in the euro group."

"They will be difficult, will require cooperation and dialogue as well as determined efforts by Greece.''

Tsipras' leftist Syriza party was elected on Jan. 25, promising to renegotiate Greece’s debt and ease so-called austerity measures imposed by the Troika of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission.

Tsipras is set to head to Paris after Brussels as part of his European tour to renegotiate Greece’s "bailout". 


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