Greece hopes to strike deal at Monday’s eurozone summit

Athens, June 19 (IANS) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he was satisfied that negotiations with creditors have been left to eurozone heads of state and government, who will meet on Monday, and expressed his optimism that an agreement would be reached.

“The leaders’ summit on Monday is a positive development on the road toward a deal,” Tsipras said in a statement.

The goal, Tsipras stressed, was to bring the negotiations to “the highest political level” in Europe, and that he would be working for the success of the summit, Efe news agency reported on Friday.

“All those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong,” the statement said, adding, “There will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro.”

Tsipras arrived in Moscow on Thursday, where he is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, and will return to Athens on Saturday.

It is expected that, over the weekend, several meetings will be held, including with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

After eurozone finance ministers were unable to reach an agreement on Thursday, European Council president Donald Tusk announced an extraordinary summit on Monday.

After Thursday’s meeting, eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that “unfortunately” there had been “too little progress” in talks between the financial institutions and Greece and there was no agreement in sight.

Tusk then called the summit and said the time has come to discuss the Greek situation urgently at the “highest political level”.

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) to the International Monetary Fund.

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