Greece arrives without debt plan, eurozone ministers 'angry'

  • Agencies, Brussels
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2015 02:11 IST

Greece did not come up with a "concrete proposal" at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday despite European pressure on Athens for a new debt plan.

"The absence of a concrete proposal by Greece government doesn't help this evening's eurozone leaders' meeting," Maltese premier Joseph Muscat wrote on Twitter, ahead of an emergency summit in Brussels.

This was later confirmed by Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem who said his new Greek counterpart Euclid Tsakalotos had presented "no concrete measures today".

He however added that a request to the EU's bailout fund was "imminent, possibly within the next few hours".

Ahead of the summit, Greece's new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos made his first appearance at a Eurogroup meeting with his counterparts.

Also read:We can't take the risk of Greece leaving: French PM

A European source close to the talks said Greek authorities had come to the Eurogroup without a "letter" or written document.

But reform proposals were still discussed at the meeting, according to a European diplomatic source.

"They are in the process of finalising the drafting of these proposals" that are "quite similar" to those made last week by creditors, the source told AFP.

The radical Tsipras is under strong pressure from European leaders -- angered by the referendum result -- to submit new bailout proposals as fears grow for the Greek economy, with banks closed until at least Thursday.

On Wednesday Tsipras will also address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, a government source said.

EU Commissioner for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis said ahead of Tuesday's meetings that a so-called "Grexit" from the single currency "cannot be excluded".

It was with some surprise that European leaders learned Tsipras did not yet have a written proposal for new rescue aid.

"I'm extremely somber about this summit. I'm also somber about the question of whether Greece really wants to come up with proposals, with a solution," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

A Greek and EU Greek flag wave in front of the ancient temple of Parthenon in Athens. (AFP Photo)

Greece's 18 eurozone partners have steadfastly said they want to help Greece stay in the currency club but have just as often complained about Greece dragging its feet during months of negotiations.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Tsipras he was dancing close to the financial abyss."We are no longer talking about weeks but very few days," she said.

An official from a eurozone nation said that Greece's failure to bring clear proposals to an earlier meeting of finance ministers caused widespread frustration. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos instead made a presentation and discussed key issues.

"Everybody was angry," said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was commenting on a closed meeting.


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