Greek crisis: emergency high-level summit called

19 Jun 15

An emergency summit of eurozone leaders will take place on Monday for urgent, high-level discussions about the situation in Greece after talks collapsed last night.

At the meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and president of the eurogroup, said: “No agreement is yet in sight.”

Ministers were trying to reach a deal to stop a default on €1.6bn owed to the International Monetary Fund at the end of the month.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that there was “no grace period” with the 30 June deadline. She added: “We can only arrive at a resolution if there is a dialogue. Right now we’re short of a dialogue.”

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a blog post to clear up “disinformation on my presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government’s position” that Greece needed to “no doubt” adjust.

“The question, however, is not how much adjustment Greece needs to make. It is, rather, what kind of adjustment. If by ‘adjustment’ we mean fiscal consolidation, wage and pension cuts, and tax rate increases, it is clear we have done more of that than any other country in peacetime.”

The ‘troika’ of creditors – compromising the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank – have offered an economic reform package to Greece, including a series of austerity measures, reforms to VAT, pensions and wages, as a bargaining tool to unlock €7.2bn in new financial help.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has previously been blamed for failing to listen to pleas from European leaders to act fast and has instead blamed creditors for the stalemate in talks for economic reform, according to reports.

However, Tsipras said: “It is not a matter of ideological stubbornness. It has to do with democracy.”

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