Wednesday 25 April 2018

Crisis Greek talks end abruptly without agreement

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at his office in Maximos Mansion in Athens
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at his office in Maximos Mansion in Athens

Niall O'Connor in Brussels

CRISIS talks aimed at averting a Greek exit from the eurozone ended abruptly without agreement last night after significant differences emerged between member states.

Greece is now edging ever closer to crashing out of the euro currency in a move that could cause significant contagion across the eurozone.

During as day of high drama, the Syriza Government was warned that it must rebuild the trust with member states after relations plummeted to an all time low.

Despite early indications that a deal was on the cards, sources say it proved difficult to find "common ground" between member states.

The meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers ended just after midnight local time with no deal agreed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his fellow heads of state will now travel to Brussels this morning for arguably the most critical EU emergency summit ever.

There is now effectively just 24 hours to avert a doomsday scenario for Greece on Monday. Such a scenario would see emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) cut - causing unprecedented chaos in the markets.

There was an unexpected twist late last night after the Finnish Government refused to support a third bailout for Greece after it came under intense pressure back home.

It emerged that a coalition partner in the Finnish Government threatened to pull out - forcing its finance minister Alexander Stubb to adopt a harsh line.

Despite plans to extend the talks until the early hours, a decision was taken to adjourn until 11am this morning.

Earlier yesterday, it emerged that report that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble wants Greece to exit the euro for five years and be given a humanitarian aid package.

The German finance ministry refused to comment on the report, while the office of Alexis Tsipras said it was untrue.

Irish Independent

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