Germany’s Schaeuble says no new substantive proposals from Greece
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gave a pessimistic assessment of new reform plans submitted by Greece ahead of an emergency summit in Brussels Monday, saying they contain little new that could lead to a debt deal.
“I do not know of any new proposals… We do not have any substantial proposals until now,” he told reporters ahead of the talks. “I do not see how we will be able to prepare a euro-summit if we do not have substantial proposals.”
Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb also poured cold water on hopes of a deal to end the five-month-old Greek debt crisis as he arrived for the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers which will be followed later by a summit of the leaders of the 19 nations that use the single currency.
“I don’t know, but I have very low expectations for today,” Stubb said, holding an umbrella to protect himself from driving rain.
Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijssebloem agreed that it would be “impossible” for Greece’s EU-IMF creditors — known as The Institutions — to have a final assessment of the Greek proposals, which arrived late on Sunday night.
“Hopefully the institutions can give us a first impression today… but of course they (the Greek proposals) have only been coming very, very recently. So it will be impossible to have a final assessment; and we’ll see what’s the basis to go for final talks.”
Irish finance minister Michael Noonan meanwhile warned that a fresh Eurogroup meeting was likely on Thursday ahead of a summit of all 28 leaders of the European Union.
“I have very low expectations of an agreement today,” he said.
“There was such confusion during the night with all the alternative versions of the Greek proposals coming in that there hasn’t been any preparation, and it would be very diffcult for the Eurgroup to prepare the meeting.
“So my expectation is that we will be meeting again on Thursday before the full (EU) council meeting.”
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