Friday

20th Apr 2018

Final deadline, as EU prepares for Grexit

  • Juncker said the commission has a scenario prepared in case of a Grexit. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The Greek government has been given a “final deadline” until the end of the week to present a proposal of reforms, ahead of a meeting of all 28 EU leaders in Brussels on Sunday (12 July).

But in a sign of the general pessimism following Tuesday's meeting of euro leaders, the European Commission said it already has plans for how to deal with a Greek exit from the eurozone.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Greek PM Tsipras (r) has a 'final deadline' for reform proposals. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

“We have a Grexit scenario prepared in detail”, said commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, although he added that it is something he is “strongly against”.

Referring to Athens' key issue of debt relief and debt restructuring, Juncker said "debt-related issues" could be discussed in October, but first a plan of reforms is required.

Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out any debt haircut for Greece.

“Tonight many around the table, also myself, said a haircut will not happen. That is a bailout essentially within the eurozone and that is banned”, she said.

The eurozone summit was called after 61 percent of Greek voters in a referendum last Sunday voted No to creditors' reform proposals.

Tsipras argued that the result has strengthened his negotiating position, but this was disputed by Juncker.

“The Greek position was very much weakened this evening”, he said. Merkel said it might have been strengthened but that the "freedom of movement" among his eurozone partners had narrowed.

Merkel also remarked that she is "not very optimistic" that an agreement can be struck with Greece.

Athens has been given until Thursday "at the latest", according to EU Council president Donald Tusk, to come forward with new proposals.

Following that, there will be another summit in Brussels, this time with all 28 EU government leaders.

Non-eurozone members will also be present “because we're all linked”, said Merkel.

Tusk said “two formats” are necessary Sunday with euro leaders meeting first "for maybe one hour" before all leaders get around the table.

The “challenge” for Sunday will be to “ascertain whether the conditions are there to be begin negotiations”, said Merkel.

Tusk said “all of us are responsible for this crisis, all of us are responsible to resolve it”, but noted “unfortunately we can't exclude this black scenario” of no agreement.

“The stark reality is that we have only five days left to find the ultimate agreement. Until now, I have avoided talking about deadlines. But tonight I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week”, said Tusk.

France's president Francois Hollande also alluded to a Grexit in the case of a failure Sunday.

"It’s true, if there’s no agreement [at Sunday’s summit] then we have to look at another option … France is obliged to envisage this option, which is for us not a solution", he said.

Ahead of Tuesday's meeting, several eurozone leaders expressed impatience with their Greek counterpart, who came to Brussels "empty-handed", in the words of Lithuanian leader Dalia Grybauskaite.

"Europe can find a solution to any problem. But for that you need two partners to talk, to trust each other, and understand each other. It is not yet the case", she said.

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel had said Tsipras is "not taking any initiative, zero, nothing, to stay in the eurozone.”

Tsipras is due to speak at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday (8 July) morning.

"The Greek side contines its effort with the people's mandate as a weapon and its desire for a viable agreement that brings an end to this story and guarantees an exit from the crisis," he said leaving the summit on Tuesday, reports AFP.

MEPs berate Greek PM in lively debate

MEPs from the main political groups gave Greek PM Tsipras a verbal beating for not being specific enough on reform plans for his country.

Moment of truth for Merkel on Greece

Merkel will make the ultimate decision on Greece on Sunday, at a summit whose outcome will have major implications for the future of Europe.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  2. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  3. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  4. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  5. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  6. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  7. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit
  8. Merkel and Macron meet to finetune eurozone reform plans

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeParabéNs! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  2. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  3. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  4. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  5. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  6. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  10. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector

Latest News

  1. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  2. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  3. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  4. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists
  5. Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study
  6. Selmayr case scars Parliament and Commission
  7. Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties
  8. 'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  2. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  3. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  4. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  5. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  6. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  7. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  8. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  9. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  10. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  11. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  12. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership