Thursday

1st Dec 2022

Juncker and Tsipras to hold 11th-hour bailout talks

  • Tsipras (2nd from left) and Juncker (3rd from left) in Riga last month

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for dinner in Brussels on Wednesday evening (3 June) for what could be the last chance to strike a deal with creditors.

Juncker, who says that a Greek default and exit from the eurozone would be disastrous for the EU, is acting as a broker to help find middle ground.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A final decision to unblock a €7.2 billion loan for Greece is to be taken by the Eurogroup, the club of eurozone finance ministers, in the coming days, but the path to an accord must first be cleared at the highest political level.

In the last few days, the Greek government and the international institutions behind its bailout - the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - have been fighting over what needs to be done.

"Many documents are being exchanged to clarify and implement the 20 February agreement," between Greece and its lenders, a commission spokeswoman said at the daily press briefing on Monday.

"The fact that documents are being exchanged is already a good sign”.

On Monday, Tsipras said Greece had "submitted a realistic plan for the country to get out of the crisis".

"The next days of the negotiation will be difficult, and what the Greek people are asking is for the government to overcome the difficulties in just and equal terms," he added, amid complaints by some Syriza MPs and supporters that he is making too many concessions.

But for his part, the president of the Eurogroup, Dutch hawk Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the latest Greek offer is "really not enough".

"We're still nowhere far enough, that's the conclusion and time is pressing”, he said on Dutch television.

EU leaders appear decided to strike a deal this week, before a Friday deadline, when Greece is due to repay €300 million to the IMF, and before Sunday and Monday's G7 summit in Germany.

After a late night meeting in Berlin on Monday between Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Francois Hollande, Jean-Claude Juncker and the ECB and IMF chiefs, Greece's creditors readied their final terms.

"It [their package] covers all key policy areas and reflects the discussions of recent weeks. It will be discussed with Tsipras," a senior EU official said, quoted by Reuters.

The main blocking points remain pensions and the labour market.

Tsipras, in an article in Le Monde on Sunday, wrote that the level of pensions "resulting from the memorandum policy cannot be tolerated".

Meanwhile, the ECB, on Tuesday, again raised the level of the emergency liquidity available for Greek banks by €500 million, signaling a will not to precipitate a bank crisis in uncertain times.

Lenders to present last offer to Greece

Leaders from Germany, France, the EU and the International Monetary Fund met on Monday night in Berlin to prepare what could be a final offer for Greece.

Late night talks fail to reach Greek deal

The Greek PM and top EU officials failed on Wednesday to reach a deal to unblock cash for Greece, but still expect agreement in the coming days.

Investigation

Asbestos — two to three times more deadly than known

Where once working men in heavy industry were diagnosed with cancers related to a more direct exposure to asbestos, now women in professions such as teaching, nursing and other occupations are being diagnosed, as well as young people.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  2. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  3. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs
  4. Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?
  5. Why the EU asbestos directive revision ... needs revising
  6. Nato renews membership vow to Ukraine
  7. Catalan spyware victims demand justice
  8. Is the overwhelming critique of Qatar hypocritical?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us