(CNBC) Fear is running amok yet again that the cash-strapped Greek government will default on its loans to its European partners and the International Monetary Fund. While its fate is still unknown, one thing has become clear this week: Greeks are scrambling to find assistance from wherever they can find it-its own government's coffers, and even with overtures to Washington and Moscow.
A signal of how dire the situation is: The far-left government passed an edict Monday requiring public agencies to turn over idle reserves to the Greek central bank to help plug fiscal gaps. In addition, come Friday, the euro zone's finance ministers are likely to throw a tantrum once again when they meet in Riga, as Greece has yet to come up with a list of acceptable economic reforms. […]
"Putin is certainly trying to cultivate the impression that Greece is one of the countries that might be friendly to the Russians," said political science professor Alexander Cooley of Barnard College. Tsipras is playing up his Russian ties, too, especially to his constituents, who voted him in on campaign pledges that he would stand up to the European austerity measures. Many analysts argue that Tsipras visited the Kremlin for domestic consumption to demonstrate that Greece does not have to rely only on its European partners. "By showing that the government has other options, Tsipras is playing to his base."
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