Greece insists deal to avoid bankruptcy is imminent as Jean-Claude Juncker offers a lifeline

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
Greek officials expect technocrats to nail down an agreement this week that would unlock billions of euros to help the country and avoid it going bankrupt.

The renewed optimism may have been the result of an intervention by European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker.

Reports in Greek media suggest Juncker has outlined a much more favourable deal to the Greek government, as it would delay austerity measures, but still require the government to push through labour market reforms it is strongly against.

The deal would grant Greece around €5bn (£3.6bn) in June, in time for it to meet repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) totalling €1.5bn.

The €5bn figure is less than the previously reported sum of €7.2bn due to the fact that the IMF is unlikely to release its share. According to the leak, the IMF is not happy with the Juncker deal.

If technocrats reach an agreement this week, the next stages will be a meeting of deputy Eurozone finance ministers, the Eurogroup Working Group, followed by a meeting of finance ministers – the Eurogroup.

The Greek government said yesterday it expects the process to be completed by the end of May. The finance ministry declined to comment on Juncker’s alleged proposals, while a spokeswoman for the EC said they were unaware of it. Another EC source told City A.M. that an agreement should be reached by the end of this month.

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