Greek leader defiant ahead of bailout meeting

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says his government will honor an election promise to end budget austerity, a note of defiance ahead of an expected meeting with the leaders of Germany and France on the country's troubled bailout.

Tsipras spoke in parliament Wednesday before lawmakers were to vote on an anti-poverty bill, the first piece of legislation from the left-wing government elected on Jan. 25.

Tsipras is expected to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the sidelines of an European Union leaders' meeting Thursday.

Greece's talks with the rescue creditors are proceeding slowly amid a clash over how much budget austerity Athens should accept in exchange for more loans.