Could a deal over the Greek debt crisis be imminent?

Richard Edgar

Former Economics Editor

External pressures could force a deal Credit: Reuters

We have had summit after summit and deadline after deadline, and somehow the politicians have always managed to postpone the crisis.

But what I think has focused minds over the weekend has been the massive withdrawals from customers' accounts - and there are reports tonight that customers have given notice to Greek banks that they plan to withdraw another one billion euros tomorrow.

Now, this is simply not sustainable - the European Central Bank, which has been sending cash to replace these lost deposits must start to question whether the Greek banks are solvent. That raises the prospect of the financial system collapsing, before the politicians have had time to sort out a deal.

Now, there are no official details of these proposals, but there are reports in Handelsblatt - a respected German financial newspaper - citing sources in the German government saying that in a teleconference today, the Greek Prime Minister put forward proposals that resemble a serious approach, for the first time - and that all states are no longer that far apart.

There has been optimism in the past, but there are external pressures now which may force a deal.