Sat, Jun 20, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Athens working to make crisis summit a ‘success’

AFP, ATHENS

Greece is working to make an emergency eurozone summit on Monday a “success,” the government said, as time runs out for Athens and its creditors to reach a deal on its international bailout and avoid default.

“We hope that the final negotiations take place at Europe’s highest political level and we are working toward the success of this summit,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office said in a statement yesterday.

EU President Donald Tusk called an emergency summit of the leaders of the 19 eurozone nations on Monday in Brussels after finance ministers on Thursday failed to break the five-month-old deadlock between the anti-austerity government in Athens and its EU-IMF creditors.

Greece has until the end of this month to agree a reform deal in order to secure the remaining portion of its multibillion-euro bailout, which it needs to avoid defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro (US$1.81 billion) IMF debt payment.

Analysts have long warned that a default may set off a chain of events leading to a so-called Grexit — Greece leaving the eurozone.

On Wednesday, the Greek central bank said that the cash-strapped nation could crash out of the eurozone and even the EU if it failed to reach a bailout deal with international creditors.

Tsipras was elected in January on a promise to end five years of austerity under two international bailouts since 2010, which Athens took to repay debts incurred by years of overspending, including from hosting the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

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