Key meetings ahead over Greece crisis

GMT 16:50 2015 Saturday ,20 June

Arab Today, arab today Key meetings ahead over Greece crisis

A man walks past graffiti reading Free Greece from the European prison
Athens - AFP

A series of crucial meetings have been planned over the next days to try to reach an eleventh-hour agreement between Greece and its international creditors to avert a Greek default and the risk of crashing out of the eurozone.

Athens has a huge IMF debt payment due at the end of the month and failing to meet it would plunge Greece -- and the eurozone -- into unknown territory.

- Monday, June 22: Eurozone summit -

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will face the heads of state and government from the other 18 countries in the euro area at an emergency summit on Greece's debt crisis in Brussels.

The goal is to bridge the gap between the leftist Greek government and its EU-IMF creditors over the economic and budgetary reforms Athens needs to commit to in order to unblock the last tranche of 7.2 billion euros in the country's second international bailout since 2010.

Tsipras has always pushed for the negotiations to be resolved at Europe's top political level. Before the leaders' summit, the eurozone finance ministers will hold a Eurogroup meeting on Monday afternoon in Brussels.

- Tuesday, June 23: Council of Europe -
Greece's premier will appear before the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which includes representatives from the body's 47 member states.

Tsipras had requested to address the assembly of the Council, which promotes cooperation among European nations, on this date.

- Thursday, Friday, June 25-26: EU summit-

Leaders of the European Union's 28 member states will hold a regularly scheduled summit for the entire bloc in Brussels. The agenda includes such issues as the British referendum on EU membership and immigration, but it could also offer the opportunity to conclude an agreement with Greece if previous meetings go well.  

Time to seal an agreement with Greece before its bailout expires on June 30 is running out as it will also the need the approval of several national parliaments, including the Bundestag in European paymaster Germany.

- Tuesday, June 30: Greece deadline -

On the last day of June Greece must make a bundled debt payment to the International Monetary Funds of around 1.5 billion euros. Athens must also pay about 450 million euros in interest for the month.
A Greek source familiar with the situation told AFP the country does not have the funds to meet the debt payment while also paying civil servants' salaries and retirees' pension benefits, which are also due at the end of the month.

Greece's second international bailout also expires on June 30. The funding had been extended in February for four months.

Greece and its creditors have discussed the possibility of another extension of the rescue programme. Athens would like time to see a plan of investment and aid to revive the economy succeed.


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