Greece hope­ful of last-ditch bailout so­lu­tion de­spite warn­ings of de­fault

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Greece on Fri­day in­sisted a last­ditch deal on its debt was pos­si­ble and dis­missed “terror sce­nar­ios” of a de­fault that is look­ing in­creas­ingly likely, as emer­gency Euro­pean meet­ings con­tinue in a bid to break the dead­lock.

“Those who in­vest in cri­sis and terror sce­nar­ios will be proven wrong,” Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras’s of­fice said, amid re­ports that Greeks banks are strug­gling to cope with a rush of de­posit with­drawals, fu­elled by the ill-tem­pered talks with Greece’s EU-IMF cred­i­tors.

ECB Raises Emer­gency Liq­uid­ity for Greek Banks

The Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank on Fri­day raised the level of emer­gency fund­ing for Greek banks by an un­spec­i­fied amount fol­low­ing a re­quest from the Bank of Greece, a Greek bank source said.

“There was no prob­lem with the fi­nanc­ing of Greek banks,” the source said, adding that bank gover­nors were ex­pect­ing a “pos­i­tive re­sult” at an emer­gency eu­ro­zone lead­ers sum­mit on Greece on Mon­day.

Ac­cord­ing to state agency ANA, the fund­ing cap was in­creased by 3.3 bil­lion eu­ros (US$3.7 bil­lion).

The Bank of Greece had ear­lier in­sisted that the coun­try’s bank­ing sys­tem was sta­ble amid a rush of de­posit with­drawals this week fu­elled by fresh dead­lock in Greece’s loan talks with its EUIMF cred­i­tors.

Bank of Greece gover­nor Yan­nis Stournaras had ear­lier met with the top Greek ne­go­tia­tor in Euro­pean Union- In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund talks, ju­nior for- eign min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos.

A bil­lion eu­ros were with­drawn from Greek banks on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing another 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros over the two pre­vi­ous days, fi­nan­cial web­site eu­ro2­day re­ported.

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

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande in­sisted Fri­day that “ev­ery­thing” must be done to seal a com­pro­mise on the Greek debt cri­sis.

We must “do ev­ery­thing to re­launch ne­go­ti­a­tions, so the talks can achieve a com­pro­mise, but one in line with Euro­pean rules,” said Hol­lande, fol­low­ing talks in Bratislava with his Slovak coun­ter­part be­fore speak­ing with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel later in the day.

Mon­day Sum­mit ‘cru­cial’

Hol­lande said Mon­day’s emer­gency eu­ro­zone sum­mit would be “cru­cial.” “I don’t want us to meet only to come to the con­clu­sion that we have failed,” he said.

The Athens stock ex­change on Fri­day was al­ter­nat­ing be­tween small gains and losses.

In a move that seemed cal­cu­lated to irk other Euro­pean lead­ers amid ten­sions with Rus­sia over Ukraine, Tsipras was vis­it­ing Saint Peters­burg as the star guest at Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s in­vest­ment drive fo­rum.

The Greek and Rus­sian lead­ers were due to hold talks Fri­day, as Moscow and Athens signed a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment to set up a joint ven­ture to ex­tend the TurkStream pipeline through Greece, a long- term pro­ject which the Greek gov­ern­ment hopes will trans­late into an up­front pay­ment of some sort.

Greece has un­til June 30 to agree a re­form deal in or­der to se­cure the re­main­ing por­tion of its multi-bil­lion-euro bailout, which it needs to avoid de­fault­ing on a debt pay­ment of around 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros to the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

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

Tsipras warned in an in­ter­view with an Aus­trian news­pa­per on Fri­day that a Greek exit would be “the be­gin­ning of the end” of the euro.

“The fa­mous Grexit can­not be an op­tion ei­ther for the Greeks or the Euro­pean Union. This would be an ir­re­versible step, it would be the be­gin­ning of the end of the eu­ro­zone,” Tspi­ras told the Kurier daily.

Tsipras’s own of­fice was more con­cil­ia­tory, adding in Fri­day’s state­ment: “We hope that the fi­nal ne­go­ti­a­tions take place at Europe’s high­est po­lit­i­cal level and we are work­ing to­ward the suc­cess of this sum­mit.”

One source de­scribed the 90-minute Eurogroup talks on Thurs­day as “tragic,” say­ing that Greece had not even raised the is­sue of a pos­si­ble bailout ex­ten­sion.

Cred­i­tors have re­fused to pay the re­main­ing 7.2 bil­lion eu­ros of the bailout if there is no re­form deal, and the cash will be lost for­ever if there is no deal for an ex­ten­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.