The round of talks over Greek debt crisis starts a few minutes ago in Brussels. Greece’s PM Alexis Tsipras vows a realistic plan to tackle the crisis. But international creditors has its own plan.
French President Francois Hollande suggested Greece and its lenders were on the brink of a deal.
“We are days, I might almost say hours away from a possible resolution,” Mr Hollande said on Wednesday, adding that “asking too much of Greece would prevent the return of growth”.
Reports from Greece said Hollande, Tsipras and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had already agreed to a deal on one key point.
The reports said the three had agreed in a telephone conversation on Wednesday to lower Greece’s primary budget surplus – the amount by which tax revenues exceed public spending.
Many points of the future deal was discussed tonight. A European Commission spokeswoman had earlier dampened hopes of an imminent breakthrough, telling reporters that no “final outcome” was expected from Wednesday’s talks.
Tsipras will hear details of the plan in the meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The head of eurozone finance ministers, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is also expected to take part in the talks.
The Greek leader’s own proposals, which he described as “a realistic plan for Greece to exit the crisis”, were dismissed by Mr Dijsselbloem as going “nowhere near far enough”.
However, failure to reach a deal could trigger a Greek default and a potential exit from the eurozone.
Syriza’s parliamentary group chairman Nikos Philis warned that if “we have no prospect of a deal on Friday or Monday, we won’t pay the money”, referring to the 5 June debt instalment to the IMF.
Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, said the bank wanted Greece to stay in the single currency, but that a “strong agreement” was needed between Athens and its creditors.
Conclusion: It’s a long night for Greeks and Europeans too.