June 30, 2015 – Greece now just has a matter of hours to make its €1.6 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The debt is due at midnight central European time, that’s 23:00 BST today, and local media are reporting that the Greek government is currently in last-minute talks over whether to accept an offer that would enable the country to repay part of its debt.

On Monday, the European Commission (EC) made a last-minute proposal of reforms, which would free up the cash to make the repayment.

EC president Jean-Claude Juncker was called by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras last night. Mr Juncker offered Greece the latest deal with a midnight deadline, but that expired.

According to the EC, the deal was exactly the same as the one offered on Friday. But reports in Greece say the new offer is different, including a change in terms to Ekas, a programme for financial help given to poorer Greek pensioners.

The Greek government does not want to scrap Ekas before 2020, but Europe says it needs to be phased out sooner.

National broadcaster ERT said earlier today morning that discussions about the proposals were taking place in Athens, while Greece’s chief negotiator with creditors, Euclid Tskakalotos, said that he expected more proposals to be made.

However, German chancellor Angela Merkel was not so confident about the possibility of a last minute deal. She said she was unaware of any new offers from the EC.

She told reporters: “This evening at exactly midnight central European time, the programme expires. And I am not aware of any real indicators of anything else.”

EU leaders have said that a rejection of the proposals could result in Greece leaving the eurozone. Mr Tsipras says he does not want that to happen.

People in Greece have been forming long queues at cash machines to remove all the money they can from their accounts, but withdrawls have been capped at just €60 a day.

Some bank branches will re-open tomorrow to allow pensioners and others who do not use bank cards, to withdraw up to €120.

By admin