Hollande, Merkel, Tsipras in new Greek debt crisis talks

6th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke by phone Saturday to discuss Greece's debt crisis as time runs out to reach a deal, a French diplomatic source said.

"They took stock of the situation to help move forward the negotiations between Greece and the three (creditor) institutions," the source said.

The three-way talks came on the eve of a G7 summit in Germany that looks set to be overshadowed by the Greek drama, even though Tsipras himself is not attending the high-level gathering.

With no deal on the table yet and billions of euros in loan repayments due, fears are rising of a possible Greek debt default that could see the country crashing out of the eurozone.

Tsipras on Friday urged the country's international creditors -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank -- to withdraw "absurd" demands for further austerity cuts in return for unlocking the final 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) in bailout funds.

Athens also ramped up pressure in the make-or-break negotiations after postponing a key loan repayment to the IMF due Friday, opting instead to bundle four IMF loan payments totalling 1.6 billion euros into a single one due by the end of June.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde is scheduled to join the Group of Seven talks on Monday, while a European diplomatic source said ECB head Mario Draghi will also be present.

© 2015 AFP

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