ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned on “excessive” budget surpluses, pension cuts and power rate increases as part of a deal with Greece’s creditors ahead of an emergency eurozone summit in Brussels Monday.
A statement issued by Tsipras’s office said “abandoning excessive primary (budget) surpluses, protecting salaries and pensions, avoiding excessive and unreasonable hikes in electricity (prices)” were “keys to an accord.”
Upon his arrival in Brussels for talks with Greece’s creditors — European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — Tsipras also pledged that “we’re here to conclude a viable economic accord.”
The earlier reminder of what Greek officials had previously called their “red lines” in negotiating with creditors came amid rising hope that a deal allowing Athens to avoid default and possible euro exit may be at hand.
A new mix of Greece’s reform and budget proposals presented to European partners on Sunday met generally favourable reaction, and stock markets across Europe surged in expectation of a deal.
Monday’s summit of the leaders of the 19 eurozone countries comes amid increasingly urgent efforts to conclude a deal to free up 7.2 billion euros ($8.2 billion dollars) that Athens desperately needs to honour a 1.5 billion debt repayment to the IMF due June 30, and also finance other reimbursements later this summer. AFP