A series of behind-the-scenes negotiations are being held in Athens ahead of the crucial eurozone meeting in Brussels on Monday which could seal Greece’s fate.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has presented new proposals to the German Chancellor, French President and EU Commission President during frantic phone call diplomacy.
With Greece teetering on the edge of a eurozone exit, the nation is on edge. Front pages of Greek newspapers read:
“Zero Hour for Greece and Tsipras“
“Monday’s Pendulum: Deal or Misadventure“
“A Time of Anxiety and Responsibility“
Nearby the parliament 70-year-old pensioner Alexandros said, “We are in a state of great anxiety about tomorrow (Monday). No one knows what our lenders are going to decide and what Tsipras’ concessions will be. There is great uncertainty and no one knows how it’s going to end.”
Others are more nonchalant. Another Athens resident, Dimitris Sarakos says he is not worried believing that they will reach an agreement, adding, “whether they are going to strike a deal tomorrow or in the week, that’s a matter of time.”
Greece needs to avoid defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro loan on June 30, but the sticking point remains over how far Tsipras’ and EU finance ministers will budge on austerity to avoid a Grexit.