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January 31

On this day, despite repeated calls from the newly elected Greek left-wing Syriza Government for negotiations over the European Union bailout loans, the EU President continued to reject them.

Series II of Greece Starts The Rot: Greece Under Fire Part 03 European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker has justified his position by arguing that there is nothing to negotiate. "What the previous Greek governments agreed to are the contractual conditions which all future governments have to abide by.

"There is no point asking for negotiations. There will be no changes. But if the Syriza Government defaults on its loans, then Greece can expect dire consequences as a result of their actions". When asked what these "dire consequences" may involve, Juncker refused to offer any details.

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, said he was outraged in the manner he and Greece were being treated by Juncker. Although condemning the attitude coming out of Brussels, he hoped more wiser minds would prevail. "Juncker is not a country. He is as responsible and accountable for his actions as is everyone else," declared Tsipras. He then said that he had instructed the Greek representatives at the EU to impress upon their European partners the importance of negotiations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out cancelling any of Greece's debt, saying banks and creditors have already made substantial cuts. "There's no arguing with us about this, and what's more we are difficult to blackmail," she said.

Alexandra Papadopoulou, Greek ambassador to the EU, consequentially raised the matter at the European Council as a matter of urgency. Although the German delegation objected to the agenda being altered, to include the matter, the majority accepted it under the urgency provisions allowed at Council meetings. Although the meeting discussed the issue far and wide, with Greece gaining several allies supporting its motion to force the EU President to commence negotiations with Greece over the bailout conditions, both Germany and Luxembourg stood steadfastly against the proposal.

The German ambassador, Reinhard Silberberg, in particular pointed out that it was not up to the European Council to order the EU President who to have a meeting with rather than the rights or wrongs of Greece's predicament. In doing so the German position gained majority support, when it came to the vote, leaving Greece no better off than before.

At a news conference afterwards, Papadopoulou blasted the Germans for using a technicality ensuring Juncker could continue to ignore the growing crisis. "The [European] Council's decision has further eroded any thought of accountability in the President's actions. "The more and more unrestricted power Brussels gains, the more and more the rest of us become irrelevant in the political process".

"In a democracy, this is unacceptable," warned Papadopoulou.