Greece: negotations continue, Tsipras optimistic on accord

Draghi, a solid deal is needed. Greek premier meets Juncker

04 June, 10:12

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

    BRUSSELS - No agreement between Greece and its creditors has been reached yet, but, leaving the EU Commission late last night, Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that yesterday's meeting "was positive, we will carry on in the next few days".
    Coming out of the meeting, Tsipras appeared confident on the chances of success: "I'm optimistic, we are very close to an agreement, we have a framework to depart from and in the next few days we will make more progress, an agreement is within reach". "All parties agree on measures to put an end to austerity and solutions of the past, nobody - added the Greek premier - wants to make the same mistakes again. He also reassured that Greece would pay the instalment due on Friday.
    Negotiations between Greece and its creditors have entered the final fase, the situation is still as rocky as ever, but there are signs an agreement could be reached.
    Greek premier Alexis Tsipras flew to Brussels with his proposal to dine with president Juncker and he was presented with a counter-proposal drafted by Merkel, Hollande, Draghi and Lagarde. Pressure to attain a deal is mounting - also from the White House - as Athens is threating default on Friday.
    Creditors appear willing to negotiate but "it must be a solid deal" said the ECB president and it must therefore answer the needs of Greeks who want growth and the ones of its creditors who expect the numbers to add up as well as address the concerns of Eurozone governments who have no intention to stomach any special 'bargains' for Athens. In the meantime, European stock exchanges have reacted positively to the glimmer of a solution. Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem was not officially invited to the dinner in Brussels because his relationship with the Greek premier has been fraught but he was involved in the planning. However the active participation of all creditors through their representatives is needed to go through with technical negotiations and Juncker will constantly be in touch with the ECB and IMF.
    Two proposals remain on the table in the search for a common ground: the Greek one, which according to Athens contains the most concessions possible, judged insufficient by its creditors, and the one drafted by the latter, that may be further amended. "Asking too much of Greece could lenghten the path to growth, but asking too little or nothing at all would produce dire consequences on the entire Eurozone", said president François Hollande who agreed with Italian Economy Minister, Carlo Padoan that an agreement is within reach. Berlin is more cautious: "We are working tirelessly and there is pressure to reach an accord", said Chancellor Merkel, with her minister Wolfgang Schauble stressing that the Greek proposal "will not be the final solution" and Draghi explaining that there still is no concrete proof of a positive outcome.
    We have not reached the eleventh hour yet and insitutions are adamant to point this out. All parties intend to reach a solution before the G7 in Bavaria Saturday and Sunday.

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