ECB boosts emergency funding as Greek banks bleed, PM calm

  • Agencies, Luxembourg
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2015 23:27 IST

The European Central Bank expanded emergency funding for Greek banks as savers pulled out 1.2 billion euros in a single day on Friday, bankers said, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted the nation’s future in the euro was secure.

With the country edging closer to default at the end of this month, the leftist leader assured Greeks that prophets of “crisis and terror” would be confounded, and his government would strike a deal with European Union and IMF creditors.

However, EU officials said euro zone finance ministers would discuss on Monday how to handle a Greek default unless Athens made new proposals on reform and austerity to persuade the creditors to unlock aid blocked since August.

European Council president Donald Tusk said no one should assume that an emergency summit of euro zone leaders he will chair on Monday evening would find a “magic solution”. “The game of chicken needs to end, and so does the blame game. Because this is not a game and there is no time for any games,” Tusk said.

The Greek central bank - which has warned that the country’s future in the euro and even in the EU is at risk unless the government strikes a deal with its creditors - tried to assure savers that the banking system remained stable.

Greece said Friday it is still hopeful an 11th-hour deal can be reached before it defaults.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin’s spokesperson said Russia is willing to consider giving aid to Greece as talks began between the leaders of the two countries.

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