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Greek PM wins commitment to seek last-minute rescue deal

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 01:37

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wins a commitment from fellow euro zone leaders to seek a last-minute rescue deal for his country. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won a commitment to seek a last-minute rescue at an emergency euro zone summit on Tuesday (July 7), before his country's banks run out of money. EU leaders will hold a further summit on Sunday to approve a plan to aid Greece if creditor institutions are satisfied in the meantime with a Greek loan application and reform commitments. "The process will be fast, speedy, it starts in the coming hours, with the aim being to conclude by the end of the week at the latest," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters after a meeting he described as positive. Questioned by journalists, he brushed aside talk of a Grexit, a prospect being openly considered earlier in the day by some in fellow euro zone countries. "The Greek side will continue the effort, having the clear verdict of the Greek people on our side, the vast majority's will for a viable agreement which will end the discussion you referred to (of Grexit) and will give us the prospect of finally exiting the crisis," Tsipras said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived saying there was still no basis for reopening negotiations with Athens, changed her tune in the room and was actively involved in efforts to find a last-ditch solution, euro zone sources said. "The challenge for Sunday will be to see if the conditions are in place for taking up negotiations. Yes or no. No more, no less," Merkel said. Short-term finance could also be made available if the Greek government came up with satisfactory proposals and took "prior actions" in passing laws to convince creditors of its intent, she said. But the chancellor was clear that she envisaged no "haircut" for Greek debt. Merkel said she expected a formal loan request from Athens on Wednesday and more detail on how Greece would cooperate to make its economy more competitive on Thursday, in order to seek the approval of the German parliament to start negotiations. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann warned, however, that if there were no deal on Sunday, euro zone governments would have to prepare "Plan B" -- code for Greece losing all access to euros and so finding itself excluded from the currency area. People familiar with Greece's financial system said the banks could start running out of money within two days unless there was an international rescue. However, euro zone sources in Brussels said European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had assured finance ministers that the central bank would keep Greek lenders afloat this week as long as negotiations were under way.

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Greek PM wins commitment to seek last-minute rescue deal

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 01:37