Greek premier Alexis Tsipras is pinning his hopes on using an EU leaders summit in Riga with eastern European partners from Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and others to strike the broad outline of a cash-for-reforms deal to stave off default.
Greece’s European lenders have played down hopes of a swift end to aid negotiations and said talks must speed up before the country runs out of cash. That contrasted sharply with optimism in Athens where a series of top officials asserted that a deal was just days away.
In an epic late-night talk show appearance, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said his government was nearing a cash-for-reforms deal with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund that would help it meet debt repayments next month.
An interesting weekend intervention by ECB policymaker Yves Mersch who said there was no question of winding up QE early and that inflation, still skulking around zero, would stay there until autumn then rise sharply late in the year towards 1.5 percent.
Greece made a 750 million euros repayment to the International Monetary Fund a day ahead of schedule on Monday but it is not clear precisely how much money Athens has left in its coffers.