PM hopes for boost from Merkel

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will travel to Berlin this week, almost 10 months since he was last in the German capital, for one of the most crucial meetings of his premiership as he seeks to find common ground with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Greece’s adjustment program and further debt relief.Sources in Athens said the two leaders would discuss “the Greek economy’s prospects and the Greek program’s progress.” In Berlin the rendezvous was described as a “routine meeting.”However, it promises to be anything but routine for Samaras, who has spent the past few days on the phone with a number of key European officials. The prime minister has stepped up his contacts due to concerns within the government about the troika’s imminent return to Athens. The fatigued coalition is not prepared to agree to lenders’ demands for further pension and labour reforms, which could jeopardize the review or at least mean that the process will drag on for much longer than the Samaras administration would want.Samaras is also expected to brief Merkel on the challenge the coalition is facing in ensuring a successor to President Karolos Papoulias can be elected next year. If New Democracy and PASOK fail to find the 180 MPs they need, Greece will have to hold general elections.The Greek premier is hoping he can obtain the same public backing from Merkel as he did during his last visit to Berlin, when Greece was also in the middle of another troika review.Samaras made a brief stop in Parliament on Tuesday night, meeting with New Democracy MPs to discuss the presidential election and other issues. He is reported to have told lawmakers that if Greece goes to national polls and SYRIZA wins, local banks would empty the next day. Ex-Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, now New Democracy’s parliamentary spokesman, also claimed on Skai TV there would be a bank run.SYRIZA sources described Samaras’s reported comment as “irresponsible.” Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras is due in Rome for an unexpected meeting with Pope Francis. The party said the meeting would focus on peace, migration and the environment.Source: Ekathimerinilast_img read more

UPDATE Motorcyclist critically injured after collision north of Brush Prairie

first_imgA motorcyclist was flown to a hospital by Life Flight helicopter after sustaining life-threatening injuries Thursday evening in a collision with a car in the 10400 block of Northeast 199th Street, in the Meadow Glade area north of Brush Prairie.The rider was Lewis Hoeflein, 56, of Battle Ground, said Detective Jim Payne with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit.The Columbian called several area hospitals and so far has been unable to find where Hoeflein was taken, or his condition.The rider suffered multiple injuries in the 6 p.m. crash, said Battalion Chief Brett Graham with Clark County Fire & Rescue. The rider wore a helmet.The driver of the car, a man in his 20s, suffered what appeared to be minor injuries and was taken to a hospital by AMR Northwest ambulance paramedics, Graham said.It appeared that one vehicle had been westbound and the other eastbound, but how they collided is under investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Graham said.John Branton: 360-735-4513 or [email protected]last_img read more