Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he was confident the government would reach a deal with its creditors. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Varoufakis:”We are heading towards a deal”
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a new offer on a reforms package to creditors on Sunday (June 21), signaling eleventh-hour concessions to break a deadlock that has pushed Greece to the brink of bankruptcy.
His office said Tsipras spoke to the leaders of Germany, France and the European Commission by phone on Sunday to break the deadlock over a cash-for-reforms deal.
Time is running out fast now to save Greece from bankruptcy and there will be an emergency summit of eurozone leaders in Brussels on Monday (June 22) to try to reach a deal.
French President Francois Hollande, on a visit to Milan, confirmed that Greece had submitted new proposals.
EU diplomats said the proposal had not arrived but representatives from the country’s European and IMF creditors were set to meet at 1500 GMT on Sunday to discuss it.
It was not immediately clear how far the new proposal yielded to creditors’ demands for additional spending cuts and tax hikes, but the offer was a ray of hope that a last-minute deal may yet be wrangled before Athens runs out of cash.
Tsipras, elected on a pledge to end austerity, has defiantly resisted demands to cut pension spending.
But Greek officials have suggested Athens may be willing to consider raising value-added-taxes or other levies to appease the lenders.
Tsipras held a full cabinet meeting on the proposals.
After almost eight and a half hours Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he was confident the government would reach a deal with its creditors.
“We are heading towards a deal,” he said.
Speaking at a joint news conference in Milan with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi the French president, Francois Hollande, said it was crucial a deal was reached.
Renzi echoed his French counterpart’s belief.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stuck to his insistence on Sunday that Athens carry out reforms ahead of an emergency summit of euro zone leaders to rescue Greece from default at the end of the month.
Money has drained out of Greek banks after a breakdown in talks last weekend, and Greece might have to impose capital controls within days if there is no breakthrough.
Sources in Frankfurt and in Brussels said that the European Central Bank’s board would discuss the liquidity of Greece’s banking sector at 0830 GMT on Monday.
The sources said that already Greek pre-orders for deposit withdrawals for Monday have reached 1 billion euros.
Tsipras’s Syriza party was holding a rally in Athens to send “a loud message of resistance” against demands for more cuts and tax hikes in a country battered by years of recession.