EU leaders hold critical Greece debt summit

Brussels, June 22 (IANS) European Union (EU) leaders on Monday held an emergency summit aimed at breaking a deadlock around Greece’s debt crisis, media reported.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is also scheduled to meet the heads of Greece’s international creditors — the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC) and the Eurogroup — in Brussels ahead of a summit of euro zone leaders later in the day, aimed at reaching a deal over the debt talks, BBC reported.

On June 30, the second extension of the Greek bailout expires and Athens must later this month make a payment of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) or risk crashing out of the single currency and possibly the EU.

The talks have been in deadlock for five months.

The EC, the IMF and the ECB have said they were unwilling to unlock the final 7.2 billion euro ($81 billion) tranche of bailout funds until Greece agrees to economic reforms.

Tsipras’s offer on Sunday of a reforms package to the leaders of Germany, France and the EC is seen by some as a sign of the Greek government’s willingness to make concessions.

The proposals, which the prime minister described as “mutually beneficial”, were adopted at an emergency meeting of the Greek cabinet – though they are yet to be revealed.

A separate European Council summit is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in case an agreement is not reached at Monday’s summit.

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