Eurozone leaders propose ′compromise′ for Greece bailout deal | News | DW | 13.07.2015
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Eurozone leaders propose 'compromise' for Greece bailout deal

Leaders of eurozone countries have continued talks after more than 13 hours of negotiations on a deal to save Greece from bankruptcy. The expected outcome is a "compromise" proposal.

A "compromise proposal" is on the table after more than 13 hours of talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and eurozone leaders on a bailout for debt-stricken Greece.

Citing a European source, the AFP news agency said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, French President Francois Hollande and European Council President Donald Tusk had proposed a "compromise" on the deal, but did not elaborate.

Tusk's spokesman also tweeted to this effect:

The talks followed Tusk's decision to cancel a planned full EU summit on Sunday.

Compromise bailout plan?

The summit comes amid a looming July 20 deadline, when Greece is expected to repay 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to the European Central Bank (ECB).

Greece missed a June 30 deadline to repay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion), making it the first industrialized country to default on a loan from the global monetary institution.

Talks between Greece and its creditors - EU, ECB, and IMF - shut down on June 26, when Tsipras announced a snap referendum on a proposal put forth by the financial institutions. Tsipras' announcement included a call for the country's citizens to vote "no" against the proposal.

Days after the referendum in which Greeks voted against austerity, the Greek government requested a new three-year bailout in the amount of at least 74 billion euros ($82.5 billion). However, some eurozone leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have cast doubt over the Greek government's ability to enact a series of reforms that would unlock the much-needed funds.

'At all costs'

Upon her arrival at the summit, Merkel told the press that there would not be an agreement with Greece "at all costs."

"I know that nerves are frayed, but it has to be ensured that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages," Merkel told reporters as she arrived at the summit.

The German chancellor added that "the most important currency has been lost: that is trust and reliability."

'Time-out' contested

In order to pave the way for a third bailout plan, the German Finance Ministry offered two new proposals to the ire of some eurozone leaders.

One proposal asked for 50 billion euros ($55.7 billion) of Greek assets to be placed in a Luxembourg fund to later be privatized, while the other suggested a "time-out" for Greece, in which the Mediterranean country would be suspended from the eurozone for a period of five years if a deal could not be reached.

French President Francois Hollande said Paris would do "everything" to keep Greece in the euro and ruled out a "temporary Grexit." Germany's two proposals were met with fierce opposition online by social media users. On Twitter, #ThisIsACoup became the second top-trending hashtag globally and topped the charts in Germany and Greece.

Greek banks continue to face capital controls which were expected to be dropped by Monday. However, the lack of a final deal means Greece's future in the eurozone is still up in the air.

ls/jr (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)