Greece needs help to repay debt

The leader of debt-ridden Greece meets Monday with the leader of economic powerhouse Germany.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of their meeting Monday that his country will not be able to pay its debt without help from the European Union, according to a report in Monday’s Financial Times.

The Times says it has acquired a copy of a letter dated March 15 in which Tsipras “warns that his government will be forced to choose between paying off loans, owed primarily to the International Monetary Fund, or continue social spending.”

“I am urging you not to allow a small cash flow issue, and a certain ‘institutional inertia,’ to not turn into a large problem for Greece and for Europe,” Tsipras wrote.

Chancellor Merkel wants her Greek counterpart to make and enforce tough spending cuts and reforms in order to receive more bailout money, the biggest share of which is financed by Germany.

Meanwhile, Tsipras blames the German chancellor’s stringent approach to Greece’s economic predicament for his country’s “humanitarian crisis” of poverty and mass unemployment.

Earlier this year, Athens was granted a four-month extension on its European bailout through the end of June. In exchange, creditors have asked for a detailed list of reforms before any money is released.

Left-wing Prime Minister Tsipras won Greece’s January elections with a promise to renegotiate the austerity measures imposed in return for the $270 billion bailout.