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.
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.
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.
Euro zone finance deputies are due to hold talks today on how to rescue Greece but appear to have little concrete to work on with Athens yet to produce a new economic reform programme after the first one was declared full of holes.
Greece sent an economic reform plan to its EU and IMF creditors overnight, according to an EU source, and euro zone finance ministers will this morning see the list which is a condition for extending the country’s bailout programme by four months.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Rome for talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi and will be met there by his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who has already been to London and Paris to try the scope for a new debt deal for Greece and reassure investors that there won’t be a default.