France hopes Greece resumes last-minute debt talks

Paris, June 29 (IANS) French President Francois Hollande on Monday expressed hope that Greece would resume debt negotiations for last-minute breakthrough in the few hours before the talks would be definitely closed.

“There are a few hours before the negotiation is definitively closed, in particular for the prolongation of the Greek aid programme. I wish, if the Greeks, if their government, so decide, that talks resume,” Hollande was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

“France is available, is always available for the dialogue to resume today or tomorrow. Today a deal is still possible, tomorrow that will depend on the Greeks’ response to the referendum,” he added.

After an emergency meeting on Greece, the French president reiterated Paris’ willingness to keep Athens as a member of the single-currency bloc but “it is up to Greece to decide or take the risk to leave it”.

On Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a surprise proposal for a referendum on the terms of bailout deal, the decision came after the last round of talks with lenders in Brussels failed as eurozone finance ministers rejected Greece’s request to extend its bailout into July.

Greece has to pay back $1.77 billion on Tuesday, and with a deal with its international lenders, it risks bankruptcy and a possible exit form the eurozone.

As for possible impact of the Greek crisis on French economy and financial market, Hollande said, “French economy is more robust and has nothing to fear for what might happen”.


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