The Eurozone will fall apart if Greece leaves, according to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Tsipras said a Grexit would be “the beginning of the end” for the Eurozone, saying markets would be spooked and would begin looking for a new weakest link. His comments come a day after Angela Merkel warned Greece was running out of time to reach a deal to save it.
Athens must agree a programme of reforms if it is to receive €7.2bn (£5.3bn) in bailout funds – cash essential to stave off a possible default.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Tsipras said he was willing to climb down on budget surplus targets in exchange for a relaxing in creditors’ demands for Greece to cut pensions and raise VAT.
I think we’re very close to an agreement on the primary surplus for the next few years. There just needs to be a positive attitude on alternative proposals to cuts to pensions or the imposition of recessionary measures.
Greece made tabled an offer to creditors this morning, and is currently pledging to run a budget surplus of 0.6 per cent – 0.4 percentage points below the EU target. Next year it has offered to run a surplus of 1.5 per cent, close to Greece’s creditors’ preferred target of two per cent.