Greece talks stall after 15 hours as Tsipras makes last stand
Emergency talks to keep Greece in the euro stalled after 15 hours as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected creditor demands for the creation of an independent fund to sell state assets and sought to minimize the role of the International Monetary Fund in a third bailout.
Tsipras huddled with Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Francois Hollande and European Union President Donald Tusk to narrow their differences at least four times during the summit of euro-area leaders.
Merkel led demands that Greece pledge assets to the fund to raise as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion). Having accepted demands to cut pensions and raise sales taxes in exchange for as much as 86 billion euros in new aid, Tsipras held out on the privatization plan Monday morning in Brussels.
“What’s happening to Greece at the negotiations is waterboarding,” Nikos Filis, the parliamentary spokesman for the governing Syriza party, said in an interview with ANT1 TV.
Regarding the asset fund, Tsipras told leaders he had no mandate to sell half his country, according to an EU official.
With Greece running out of money and its banks shut the past two weeks, the gathering was billed as the country’s last chance to stay in the euro. Tsipras, who says he wants to keep Greece in the currency union, has been in financial limbo since his government missed a payment to the IMF and allowed its second rescue package to lapse on June 30.
The summit and the finance ministers’ meeting that preceded it featured skirmishes pitting hardliners against others. Hollande rejected the notion floated by Germany to suspend Greece from the currency. Earlier, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble snapped at European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.