While Greece has been trapped in the clutches of an economic and sovereign debt crisis for half a decade, it has only been over the last month that the risk of leaving the euro has risen so dangerously high.
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.
One of the sideshows of the Greek crisis has been the noise on the subject from the United States, which in short just wants Europe to get on with it and make a deal. There was more of this over the weekend at the Group of Seven meeting in Germany, although not quite so blunt as some recent forays. Barack Obama was keen to join Germany in hoping for a speedy solution. But the White House did again remind those who may not be aware that global financial markets may get unhappy if there is no agreement.
One way or another, the end game for Greece approaches.
Last night, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left talks with senior EU officials in Brussels saying a deal with creditors was “within sight” and that Athens would make a payment due to the IMF on Friday.
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.