Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday he is confident of meeting an end of the week “final deadline” European leaders have given him to reach a bailout deal.
In a speech to the European Parliament, Prime Minister Tsipras also defended his country’s reluctance to agree to tough austerity measures in exchange for the financial aid.
The Greek leader, who was greeted by both boos and cheers, said any reforms must share burdens among the population, create jobs, and encourage entrepreneurship.
Greece on Wednesday formally submitted a request for new aid, according to the eurozone’s bailout fund. The request meets a timeline set by European leaders at another emergency meeting Tuesday.
Following that meeting, European Council President Donald Tusk warned Greece “the final deadline ends this week,” and said failure to reach a deal “may lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system.”
European Union Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici was more positive, saying he believes a deal can be reached by Sunday, when all 28 members of the EU will meet to discuss the crisis.
“The ball is clearly in the Greek authorities’ camp,” Moscovici told France 2 TV on Wednesday.
In a sign of just how dire the situation has become, European leaders have begun making preparations for Greece to leave the 19-nation eurozone.
“The commission is prepared for everything. We have a Grexit scenario, prepared in detail,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.