Greek debt: Talks to resume as deadline beckons

Greek debt talks are resuming after creditors accused the country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of failing to compromise.

Greece faces a 1.6 billion euro debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, and is thought to require a new deal to avoid default and a possible withdrawal from the eurozone.

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Greece negotiations set to resume as deadline beckons

Greece's Prime Minister is set to resume negotiations with international creditors after negotiations to avoid a Greek debt default faltered last night with euro zone finance ministers accusing Athens of refusing to compromise.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras. Credit: PA

With a deadline next week that could put Greece on a path out of the euro zone, European Union leaders are due in Brussels for a summit later.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras negotiated into the early hours with heads of creditor institutions to try to thrash out a cash-for-reform deal before the euro zone ministers reconvene at 11pm.

Main developments include:

  • Finance ministers break off meeting saying gap still wide
  • With the EU summit creditors to keep talking
  • Big gaps remain on taxes, pensions, labour reform
  • Greek demand for debt restructuring not discussed
  • Street protests in Athens against more austerity

Optimism dwindles as Greek debt deadline looms

As the deadline to secure Greek debt looms optimism that a deal might be reached is failing, ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports.

Eurozone finance ministers have until next Tuesday to reach an agreement on the Greek economy.

The Greek government's current plan relies largely on riaising taxes, something the IMF is unhappy with.

The IMF is insisting that there are cuts as well as tax rises, especially to pensions. The Greek Prime Minister has reacted furiously to those demands and said his country is not being treated fairly.


Greek politicians react angrily to debt proposals

Greek politicians have reacted angrily to proposals submitted by the government to creditors to solve the debt crisis.

Greek protesters rally yesterday. Credit: Reuters

European leaders have cautiously welcomed the proposals - which include halting early retirement, increasing VAT on certain items and upping tax contributions - with some suggesting a deal could be reached this week.

But the Greek parliament's deputy speaker, Alexis Mitropoulos, warned that the plans would be difficult to pass.

"I believe that this program as we see it ... is difficult to pass by us," he told Greek TV.

If parliament fails to approve the offer, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may be forced to call a snap election.

Merkel: 'Time is short' to reach a deal with Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that "time is short" for a deal to be reached with Greece but confirmed that EU leaders have all "strongly backed" a commitment to reach an agreement.

Angela Merkel Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/ PA

Speaking after a Eurogroup meeting to discuss the issue of Greece's finances today Merkel said "intensive work" was needed as negotiations continue but European leaders do want Greece to stay in the Euro Zone.

According to reports citing the head of the Eurogroup, a resolution to the country's debt crisis could be reached "later this week" and Merkel said that it was "clear that financial sustainability is part of Greece negotiations".


EU leaders hint that deal with Greece might just happen

After four months of crisis talks, there is a glimmer of hope that a breakthrough between the EU and Greece might be on the cards.

Details of the latest Greek offer include:

  • halting early retirement
  • increasing pension contributions
  • 6.5% VAT increase on hotels
  • end on VAT discounts for islands
  • a one-off corporation tax

ITV News economics editor Richard Edgar reports:

Merkel cautious on Greek bailout, but Hollande upbeat

Credit: Wolfgang Kumm/DPA/PA Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sounded a note of caution on the latest set of financial reform proposals from the Greek government.

While EU president Donald Tusk had sounded a positive note earlier today, Merkel, under pressure from the German people, was more equivocal.

"After the Eurogroup meeting there is no basis for a decision, so this can only be an advisory summit," she said. Her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, a hardliner on Greece, earlier told reporters he had seen nothing new from Athens.

But other leaders sounded more upbeat. French President Francois Hollande told reporters: "I hope the work conducted in the past few days by Greece and the institutions lays the foundation for an agreement that should be reached as soon as possible. There are improvements, even if not everything has been resolved."

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