There is one day to go before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is supposed to meet EU bigwigs in a push for a political agreement on cash-for-reforms. Oneﾠglitch, though: the EU has only just received Tsipras’s new proposal, one that was supposed to have been handed over on Friday. Germanyﾒs Angela Merkel, Franceﾒs Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are not being given much time to prepare for their chat with the Greek leader.
Another day of claim and counter-claim.
The Greek government said a deal with its lenders had reached the drafting stage and would not require wages and pensions cuts or reforms to the VAT regime. It didn’t take long for euro zone officials to retort that this simply was not the case and that the two sides remained far apart.
The smart money has always been on a last-minute deal being done to keep Greece afloat with Athens making most of the concessions and the euro zone and IMF bending only a little. But the chances of a car crash are growing as each day passes.
The Greek government states that a cash-for-reforms deal with the EU and IMF can be finalized in the next 10 days but the other side is much less optimistic and there was no sign of a breakthrough at the EU summit in Riga which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had been pinning some hope on.
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.