26th June 2015
Greece has been offered a five-month extension worth €15.3 billion to its bailout programme if it seals a deal with the rest of the EU this weekend.
The Greek government must sign a deal this weekend or risk a default next week.
Greek prime minster Alexis Tsipras has been locked in talks with the IMF and European leaders Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande over Greek’s finances. The IMF and EU want Greece to cut pensions and increase taxes to qualify for the next stage of its bailout money but the leftist anti-austerity prime minister has refused, causing a long-running stand-off.
The Eurozone has said it will help Greece repay maturing debt by offering the money that is still available to the country under the current bailout if it is extended by five months to November, a note seen by Reuters said.
However, the original Greek bailout expires on Tuesday and the money still available will disappear if there is no request for an extension.
However, Tsipras has said he doesn’t understand German leader Merkel and French leader Hollande’s ‘harsh’ stance.
European council president Donald Tusk said EU leaders will not solve the Greek stand-off.
‘Finance minister are working and we expect results because the next meeting will be on Saturday. We fully support the position of the institutions. Leaders aren’t here to discuss the details,’ he said.
‘I cannot imagine a realistic and detailed discussion about VAT in Greece or pension reform.’
He said that after 15 hour long talks with Greece there is still ‘divergence’
‘We, the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank agreed a common position,’ he said. ‘Our Greek friends have explained some divergences from the proposals from the three institutions. It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it position….Tomorrow is a crucial day not only for Greece but euroarea as a whole. I’m quite optimistic but not overly optimistic.’