Greece's Prime Minister emerged from another round of crunch talks with the country’s creditors in the early hours of this morning, insisting that his fellow leaders are leaning towards his way of thinking.
Alexis Tsipras met with Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande in Brussels and when he left the building he insisted the German and French leaders agreed any bailout deal should return Greece to growth.
After a meeting that lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, a Greek government official said: “The three leaders agreed to intensify the process of bridging the remaining differences aiming to reach a timely deal that would allow Greece to return to growth with social cohesion and a sustainable debt.”
However, despite this being the fifth conversation among the three leaders in less than two weeks – highlighting the seriousness of efforts to prevent Greece being forced from the Eurozone – there was no sign of a breakthrough.
A German government spokesman said that the meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere.
“It was agreed unanimously that the talks between the Greek government and the institutions (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) should be pursued with great intensity,” the spokesman stated.
The talks have been deadlocked over Greece’s rejection of the creditors’ demands for cuts in pensions and unpopular labour market reforms as conditions for releasing frozen bailout funds.
Greece is likely to default at the end of June if it does not receive fresh funds to enable it to make a €1.6bn (£1.17bn) repayment to the International Monetary Fund.