Business

Greece crisis: Emergency summit called for Monday

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionYanis Varoufakis: "We are dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident''

An emergency summit of leaders from eurozone nations will be held on Monday, after the latest attempt to resolve the Greek debt crisis failed.

A meeting of finance ministers on Thursday made no breakthrough.

Head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said that "too little" progress had been made and that "no agreement as yet is in sight".

Greece has less than two weeks to strike a deal with its creditors or face defaulting on an existing loan.

Mr Dijsselbloem stressed that "very little time remains" for Greece.

'Positive development'

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that there would be a solution to Greece's debt crisis.

"The [eurozone] leaders summit on Monday is a positive development on the road toward a deal," Mr Tsipras said in a statement.

"All those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong."

He added: "There will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro."

Mr Tsipras is due to meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin at an economic forum in St Petersburg later.

Possible deals on the table include a gas pipeline, says BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford.

'Gigantic adjustment'

Reports say that the European Central Bank (ECB) will hold an emergency meeting of its governing council later to discuss the deteriorating situation for Greek banks.

It is thought that the ECB may have to extend further emergency funding for Greek banks which have suffered high rates of withdrawals by customers worried that Greece could be forced out of the eurozone.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionEurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem: ''The ball is clearly in the Greek court''

On Thursday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said his nation had presented a "comprehensive" proposal to its EU and IMF creditors and that disagreement only existed over spending equivalent to 0.5% of Greek GDP, which he says does not constitute a "dangerous impasse".

He argued that Greece had already made a "gigantic adjustment" over the past five years and rejected any measures that would "jack-up" taxes and reduce benefits further.

And he warned that negotiations were "dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident".

Greece has less than two weeks remaining to strike a deal or face defaulting on an existing €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund.

The country has already rolled a €300m payment into those due on 30 June.

If it fails to make the payment, it risks having to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

But the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms.

They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2bn of funds, which have been delayed since February.

Mr Dijsselbloem called on Greece to submit "credible" proposals in the coming days and said the nation needed to seize a "last opportunity" to reach a deal with its creditors.

"It is still possible to find an agreement and extend the current programme before the end of the month, but the ball is clearly in the Greek court to seize that last opportunity," Mr Dijsselbloem said.


Image copyright Getty Images

Greece - deal or no deal?

  • Option 1: No deal: Greece defaults on IMF and ECB repayments; ECB pulls plug on emergency bank assistance leading to run on Greek banks, capital controls and potential Grexit
  • Option 2: Greece agrees reform deal with creditors at last minute and avoids default, staying in euro
  • Option 3: No deal reached but both sides paper over cracks and Greece stays in euro for now

Peston: Will ECB keep Greece afloat?

Walker: The options for Greece

What impact would Grexit have on UK?


Pressure was also raised on Greece on Thursday when the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, warned there was "no period of grace" for the country over its impending debt repayment deadline.

She said Greece would be in default on its loans from the IMF if it failed to make the €1.6bn payment on 30 June.

Ms Lagarde maintained that the international institutions had always shown flexibility towards Greece's situation.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionChristine Lagarde: ''Everything is about give and take''

'Commitments'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is "still convinced" that a Greek debt deal is possible.

In a statement to the German parliament on Thursday, Mrs Merkel said Germany was working hard to keep Greece in the euro, but said Athens had to follow through on reform commitments.

"I'm still convinced - where there's a will, there's a way," she said. "If those in charge in Greece can muster the will, an agreement with the three institutions is still possible."


Image copyright Getty Images

Greek debt talks: main sticking points

  • Greece will not accept cuts to pension payments or public sector wages, saying two-thirds of pensioners are either below or near the poverty line
  • International creditors want pension spending cut by 1% of GDP - it accounts for 16% of Greek GDP. They say their target is early retirement not individual pensions
  • EU officials say Greece has agreed to budget surplus targets of 1% of GDP this year, followed by 2% in 2016 and 3.5% by 2018. Greece says nothing is agreed until everything is agreed
  • Creditors also want a wider VAT base; Greece says it will not allow extra VAT on medicines or electricity bills
  • Greece complains creditors focus on increasing taxes instead of cracking down on tax evasion; IMF is concerned Athens is not offering credible reforms

Is Greece close to Grexit?

EU solidarity damaged by Greek splits


Are you in Greece? How have you been affected by the crisis over recent years? You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your experience.

If you are willing to speak further to a BBC journalist, please include a contact telephone number.

Or WhatsApp us on +44 7525 900971

Or comment below.

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

Related Topics