Greece has until the end of the week to come up with new proposals to secure a deal with creditors to keep the county from crashing out of of the euro.
With that stark warning an emergency full EU summit has been called for Sunday.
On Tuesday eurozone finance ministers complained that their new Greek colleague Eucild Tsakalotos, while more courteous than his abrasive predecessor Yanis Varoufakis, had brought no new proposals to a preparatory meeting before an emergency eurozone summit later that evening.
However on leaving the summit a surprisingly up-beat Greek premier told reporters:
“The Greek side will keep on trying, having in its arsenal the verdict of the Greek people, which was definite. The will of the Greek people is for a viable agreement which will end the discussion of a Grexit.,” stated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Tsipras who won an emphatic mandate in Sunday’s referendum to renegotiate with lenders said he’s prepared to accept painful reforms in return for some debt restructuring.
What German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants are facts and figures backing up a new long term debt programme and not just a quick fix:
Merkel, under pressure in Germany to cut Greece loose, made it clear it was up to Tsipras to present convincing proposals after Athens spurned tax rises, spending cuts and pension and labour reforms that were on the table before its 240 billion euro bailout expired last week.
“The sequence of events is completely clear. Firstly, the long-term proposals and then the readiness to talk about the short-term mechanism which will be linked to prior actions,” she said.
Meanwhile the European Central Bank has said it will do the necessary to keep Greek banks afloat until Sunday.
Reporting for euronews from Brussels Efthymia Koutsokosta concluded:
“The atmosphere at today’s eurozone summit was tense, some countries had reached the end of their patience after the referendum in Greece. Now the EU declares it is ready with its very last deadline for Greece to submit proposals as a basis for a final agreement ahead of Sunday’s full European Union summit.”