Greece has proclaimed a new willingness to compromise with its international creditors, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that time was running out for a reform-for-aid deal to keep the country in the euro.
Three days after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his parliament the latest proposal from the EU and IMF was "absurd", the Greek government said yesterday it was ready to negotiate a settlement acceptable to both sides by the end of this month - when Greece's bailout program expires and it faces the prospect of default on its debts.
For all the more positive mood music, a European Union official reported "no new developments" in the hunt for a deal under which the creditors would resume aid in return for promises of more austerity.
Athens and Brussels exchanged proposals last week in the hope of breaking an impasse that, if unresolved, could force Greece out of the euro zone, an event that could shake financial markets and even the global economy.
Merkel, who is due to meet Tsipras along with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday, stressed she wanted Greece to remain part of the currency bloc.
But, speaking after a summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in Germany, she said there was "not much time left".