Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will address the European Parliament on Wednesday after European leaders gave his debt-stricken country a final deadline to reach a new bailout deal and avoid crashing out of the euro
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will address the European Parliament on Wednesday after European leaders gave his debt-stricken country a final deadline to reach a new bailout deal and avoid crashing out of the euro.
Greek leaders must submit detailed reform plans by Thursday to win the fresh bailout funds the country needs to stop its banking system from collapsing, EU President Donald Tusk said after an emergency summit of Greek and eurozone leaders on Tuesday.
All 28 European Union leaders will then examine the plans on Sunday in a make-or-break summit that will either rescue Greece's moribund economy, or leave it to crash out of the single currency -- a so-called "Grexit".
"Tonight I have to say loud and clear -- the final deadline ends this week," Tusk told a news conference. "Inability to find an agreement may lead to bankruptcy of Greece and insolvency of its banking system," he added.
The urgency of the situation was underlined by the head of France's central bank, Christian Noyer, who said Wednesday he feared Greece could descend into "chaos" unless a deal was struck this week. "The Greek economy is on the edge of catastrophe. A deal absolutely must be found on Sunday because it will be too late after that and the consequences will be serious," he told French radio, adding that "there could be riots... and chaos in the country".
The EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said an agreement with Greece was possible but it was up to its government to make credible proposals to its fellow eurozone members.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, warned Greece would need a debt program lasting "several years" to revive its moribund economy and insisted writing off any part of its 320-billion-euro ($350-billion) debt mountain was out of the question.
The prime minister is expected to tell European parliamentarians in Strasbourg that Sunday's referendum result gave him a strong new mandate from his beleaguered people.
Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, he said the Greek government "continues its efforts with the people's mandate as a weapon, and its desire for a viable agreement that brings an end to this story and guarantees an exit from the crisis".