EU finance ministers look for a solution to Greek debt crisis

European Union finance ministers met in Luxembourg Friday ahead of an emergency summit on Greece Monday after failing to reach a breakthrough one day earlier on a cash-for-reform arrangement with Greece.

After the Friday meeting, top EU finance officials said that Greek Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis did not present proposals they had anticipated.

However, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Friday he was looking forward to the emergency summit Monday.

“There will be a solution to the Greek debt crisis that will allow the country to return to growth while staying in the Eurozone,” Tsipras said, adding that “all those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong.”

Tsipras said the summit is “a positive development on the road toward a deal.”

Talks must continue

Speaking to reporters in Bratislava after a meeting with his Slovak counterpart, French President Francois Hollande said that Greece and its international creditors must continue talks to reach a compromised based on European rules.

“We have to use the time which separates the moment yesterday during the Eurogroup meeting when we discovered there is still no agreement and the meeting planned for Monday, to prepare everything so that the negotiations can be taken up again and that the discussions can reach a compromise solution, but a compromise founded on the European rules,” Hollande said.

He also announced that he would meet soon with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss viable options to address the Greek financial crisis.

“I do not want us to meet only to come to the conclusion that we have failed,” Hollande said.

The Monday meeting of EU finance ministers will be crucial in determining whether international creditors will unlock another $8.2 billion in bailout funding ahead of a June 30 deadline, by which Greece has to repay $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund.


(Archive photo of Yánis Varoufákis, Greek Minister for Finance, and Pierre Moscovici: EC Audiovisual Service)