Negotiations led by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem who is the chair for the group of 19 finance minister in the eurozone, have produced a common ground on the extension of the 172 billion euros Greek bailout, according to an official from the eurozone.
The text was assembled following close to five hours of talks between Dijsselbloem and key finance ministers including Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis the finance minister and his Wolfgang Schauble his counterpart from Germany.
The text will be presented to the 19 ministers for their approval. The vote will be quick, said the official from the eurozone. According to one government official from Greece, the text has been agreed upon between Germany, Greece and the three financial institutes that monitor the bailout: the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
The official from the eurozone said that Dijsselbloem spoke directly to Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during the discussions.
The official also said that Tsipras spoke with Donald Tusk the European Council president requesting a summit with the EU if a deal was not reached during Friday’s negotiations.
Varoufakis earlier had insisted that Greece made sufficient concessions for a deal to be reached to extend for six months the bailout after it expires the end of next week and predicted he and his counterparts would come to an agreement. He said that Athens did not go the extra mile but another 10 miles in its extension proposal submitted to the leaders on Thursday, saying it was the turn of the rest of the ministers to meet his country not half way but at least a fifth of the way.
Dijsselbloem said the meetings took some time and proved to be complicated which cast doubt at the time if an accord could be reached.
Speaking following a Paris meeting, the leaders of both Germany and France said they were committed to keeping Greece in the common currency union, but Angela Merkel the chancellor of Germany added that the request by the finance minister of Greece needed changing prior to it being accepted.
Nevertheless, it seems as if the finance ministers have staved off another problem for the time being, or for at least six months.