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New Greek PM Tsipras in Italy, France next week: office

31 january 2015, 11:20

 Greece's new radical Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will travel to Italy and France next week for meetings, his office said Friday, as his government began talks to renegotiate its unpopular EU-IMF bailout, AFP reports.

Tsipras, elected Sunday on a platform of ending austerity and erasing most of the country's debt, will meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday and French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

Tsipras' maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will travel to Britain, France and Italy on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with his counterparts George Osborne, Michel Sapin and Pier Carlo Padoan, the ministry said.

Varoufakis on Friday told visiting Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem that Greece would bypass the so-called 'troika' representing the EU, ECB and IMF and deal with the institutions directly.

Greece's new stance -- and the abandonment of key fiscal reforms this week -- has alarmed the country's creditors and revived fears that it could be forced out of the eurozone.

In a strained joint news conference with Varoufakis, Dijsselbloem warned Athens against "taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous arrangements".

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