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Greek crisis summit called after talks fail and bank fears grow - as it happened | Business | The Guardian
Greece is facing a full-blown banking crisis after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers broke down in acrimony and recrimination, forcing leaders to meet next week
Here’s our latest news story on the unfolding, deepening crisis in the eurozone:
Greece is facing a full-blown banking crisis after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers broke down in acrimony and recrimination on Thursday evening, bringing the prospect of Greek exit from the eurozone a step nearer.
Some €2bn of deposits have been withdrawn from Greek banks so far this week – including a record €1bn yesterday – triggering fears that a breakdown in talks would spark a further flight of funds. The German leader Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to stage an emergency EU summit on Monday as a last critical attempt to prevent Greece going bankrupt. A representative of the European Central Bank told the meeting it was unsure whether Greek banks would have the funds to be able to open on Monday.
As thousands of pro-EU protestors gathered outside the Athens parliament building, leaders of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund aimed bitter criticism at the leftwing Greek government, accusing it of lying to its own people, misrepresenting and misleading other EU leaders, refusing to negotiate seriously, and taking Greece to the brink of catastrophe.
The Luxembourg talks broke down within an hour of discussions on the Greek crisis starting, indicating the bad blood between both sides. Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said there was an urgent need for dialogue “with adults in the room”.
The ECB is going to decide tomorrow whether to extend more emergency liquidity to Greece’s banks, to allow them to cope with the outflow of deposits.
The European Central Bank told a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Thursday that it was not sure if Greek banks, which have been suffering large daily deposit outflows, would be able to open on Monday, officials with knowledge of the talks said.
The officials said that during the closed-door meeting of the ministers on Greece, the chairman of the meeting Jeroen Dijsselbloem asked European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure if Greek banks would be able to open tomorrow.
Coeure answered: "Tomorrow, yes. Monday, I don't know"
Banking sources said on Thursday that between Monday and Wednesday, Greeks have withdrawn around 2 billion euros from their bank accounts.
Russia is willing to consider giving financial aid to Greece, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Friday ahead of talks between the leaders of the two countries.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras traveled to Russia as his country struggles to reach a deal with its creditors for new loans it needs to avoid defaulting on debt payments at the end of the month. Without the bailout, Greece could be headed for bankruptcy or an exit from the euro.
Tsipras's visit has given rise to speculation that the Greeks may be seeking Russian loans.
"If the Greeks ask for a loan then we will consider it, but they have not yet asked," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told The Associated Press. "We would do this because they are our partners and this is a normal practice between countries who are partners."
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich also said Russia would consider a loan.
"The most important things for us are investment projects and trade with Greece. If financial support is needed, we will consider this question," he said in an interview on RT television, the Tass news agency reported.
Russia promised Greece hundreds of millions of dollars in transit payments yearly if it agreed to build the pipeline. Construction of the pipeline is expected to start next year and be completed in 2019.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia and Greece would be equal partners in the project, with Russia's half owned by the state bank VEB.
There seems to be a growing willingness in the Eurozone to get this over with, to let Greece default and go from there – with all the options that this might entail. But even if a last-minute bailout agreement materializes, one thing stands out in this sea of chaotic uncertainty: Greek banks are toast.
The top four – National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank, and Eurobank Ergasias – account for 91% of Greek banking assets. They’ve already been bailed out twice. Their shares are penny stocks. They have two toxic problems: liquidity and solvency. Either one can topple them.
Liquidity is a problem because the Greeks have trust in their banks and have been yanking their euros out with increasing desperation. They won’t ever forget what happened to depositors in Cyprus. Deposits have plunged about 20% since November, to €130 billion. According to Reuters, “banking sources” said that just during the first three days of this week, Greeks have pulled €2 billion from their accounts – about €667 million a day, compared to prior weeks when they’d withdrawn €200 to €300 million a day.
Desperate Greeks turn to Vladimir Putin for help as country teeters on edge of bankruptcy - Europe - World - The Independent
A make-or-break meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg ended without agreement amid reports in Greece of €2bn (£1.4bn) being pulled out of accounts by frightened savers in the past three days.
An emergency summit of eurozone leaders has been called to convene on 22 June. Negotiations between Athens and its creditors in the IMF and the eurozone over a “cash-for-reforms” deal have broken down, leaving Greece without the resources to pay its debts at the end of the month. Speaking after talks broke down last night, the Eurogroup’s top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said Greece required “politicians who are prepared to tell the truth to their people”.
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