Finance chiefs fail to reach Greek debt deal, call for crisis summit


Euro-Gruppe Luxemburg Lagarde



A meeting of eurozone finance ministers aimed at hashing out a deal to prevent Greece from defaulting has ended without an agreement, according to a tweet from Valdis Dombrovkis, vice president of the European Commission.

The meeting comes amid fears that Greece would be forced to exit the EU if it does not make a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the amount of 1.6 billion euros ($1.82 billion) by June 30.

Crisis summit

Following the Eurogroup meeting, President of the European Council Donald Tusk announced that a summit to be attended by European leaders will be convened in Brussels on Monday.

“I have decided to convene a Euro Summit Monday. Time to discuss the situation of Greece at highest political level,” Tusk said in a statement.

Meanwhile, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that “sensible proposals” had been put forth.

“We are waiting. The institutions have put together very sensitive proposals,” Lagarde said at a press conference following the Eurogroup meeting.

Greek debt talks end with no deal

Lagarde added that an agreement could be reached, but only through dialogue.

“We can only arrive at a resolution if there is a dialogue. And for the moment, we are short on dialogue. So the key emergency is to restore a dialogue with adults in the room,” Lagarde said.

‘Our preferred scenario’

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem added during the press conference that the eurogroup was “very committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.”

“Our preferred scenario still is, very much so, to reach an agreement. I think it is still possible to reach an agreement that is credible for the future of Greece, in financial and economic terms, and is credible for the eurozone,” Dijsselbloem said.

However, the Eurogroup president added that the eurozone was prepared for “eventualities,” referring to the possibility of a “Grexit”

‘Dangerously easy’

Shortly after the meeting, Greek Prime Minister Yanis Varoufakis published an article detailing Greece’s proposals at the Eurogroup meeting to combat “disinformation” about his presentation.

“The only antidote to propaganda and malicious ‘leaks’ is transparency. After so much disinformation on the presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government’s position, the only response is to post the precise words uttered within,” Varoufakis said.

In the article, Varoufakis admits that Greece “needs a great deal of adjustment,” noting that “reforms” needed to be pursued, not “cutbacks.”

“Colleagues, at this juncture it is dangerously easy to think that nothing can be done. Let us not fall prey to this state of mind. We can forge a good agreement,” the prime minister noted, addressing Greece’s creditors and EU partners.

“Our government is standing by, with ideas and with the determination to cultivate the two forms of trust necessary to end the Greek drama: Your trust in us and the trust of our people in Europe‚Äôs capacity to produce policies that work for, and not against, them,” Varoufakis said.