Greek debt crisis

European leaders hold emergency summit in Brussels in attempt to break impasse

Colin Gleeson, Eoin Burke-Kennedy Tue, Jul 7
 
LIVE: Greek debt crisis

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  • 11:24

    Good morning and welcome to our live blog on the ongoing Greek debt crisis. Today, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will present new proposals to break the deadlock at an emergency summit in Brussels.

    Greece needs to win some form of commitment on debt relief or debt rescheduling if the deal is to be politcally acceptable back home.

    However, this is proving a difficult pill for   Germany and its northern allies to swallow.

    With Greece's financial system running on empty, the stakes couldn't be higher.

  • 11:35
    Markets update: The euro fell by 1 per cent against the dollar while German 10-year Bund yields edged lower today on the back of last night's move by the ECB to leave emergency liquidity for Greek banks at current levels but increase   the haircuts on the collateral it demands.

    This stoked fresh fears that Greek banks will soon be out of cash, a potentially explosive situation for both Greece and the wider euro zone.

    This morning, the euro was down 0.9 per cent at $1.09605, a one-week low.

    The markets were relatively calm ahead of the summit with the Euro STOXX 50 index of euro zone blue-chip shares up 0.2 per cent after falling 2.2 per cent on Monday. Germany's DAX index rose 0.3 per cent while Italy's FTSE MIB was up 1.4 per cent.

    Dublin's Iseq was this morning tracking its European peers, trading up 0.14 per cent at 6,148.

  • 11:39
    A bank employee opens the main gate of the national bank of Greece as pensioners enter to withdraw a maximum of €120 for the week in Athens
    A bank employee opens the main gate of the national bank of Greece as pensioners enter to withdraw a maximum of €120 for the week in Athens
  • 11:49
    The euro zone finance ministers are arriving in Brussels for today's Eurogroup meeting, which precedes tonight's emergency leaders' summit, you can follow their progress here. Mario Draghi just entered at high speed without speaking to reporters.
  • 11:58
  • 12:06

    Cliff Taylor writes: "A crunch problem is timing. It would take time to negotiate a full third bail-out, but Greece needs money now, to keep its exchequer going and particularly to meet debt repayments."

    "Its banks also urgently need new funds from the ECB. It appears that to try to overcome this timing problem Greece may seek some kind of short-term  bridging loan from the European Stability Mechanism, the ESM, in today’s talks."  

    "This would give time to negotiate a third bail-out. For this to work it would also require the ECB to provide additional liquidity to the Greek banks in the weeks ahead, while attempts were made to thrash out a third bail-out."

    "One issue is that it is not clear how much cash they would need to reopen, even on some kind of partial basis, perhaps with some limits remaining on withdrawals. It remains to be seen whether this bridging loan idea might fly and on what basis the EU leaders might agree to it."

  • 12:08
    Debt relief is key problem for most countries - Slovak finmin

    Slovak finance minister Peter Kazimir, who has been hawkish on Greece, says it has gotten "to the point where a viable solution is only possible at the very highest political level."

    "In any case,   the prolonging of these discussions would be detrimental to Greece and the euro zone as a whole," he told reporters.

    The outcomee of Sunday's referendum didn't change the economic reality in Greece, "and frankly Greece is behind the curve at the moment, and the bridge of trust."

    He said the question of debt relief remained the most "delicate" issue for most countries.

  • 12:14
    Latvia's finance minister Janis Reirs: "What we need now is a clear end-goal strategy on how Greece" to resolve its debt crisis to regain financial stability.

    "A lot will depend" on the Greek proposals, he said.
  • 12:17
    Two basic themes emerging: Trust has been broken, and we'll wait and see what the new set of proposals contain.
  • 12:18
  • 12:25
    Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president of the EC in charge of the Euro, says   Grexit is "not our intention" but if trust not rebuilt it cannot be excluded.

    "We need to see if Greece will present comprehensive and credible package," he says, claiming Greek recovery of last year has been wasted.

    He also indicated his trust of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis had completely broken down.
  • 12:29
  • 12:39

    I know it's ridiculous to talk about endgames when it comes to Greece as we've had so many, but you get the feeling something concrete must emerge from this summit if Grexit is to be avoided.

     

  • 12:39
  • 12:43
    Pierre Gramegna of Luxembourg says Greek government needs to resolve contradiction of wanting to sat in the euro zone and not wanting to sign up to proposals on the table.
  • 12:44
    Newly appointed Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos arrives at the euro zone finance ministers meeting
    Newly appointed Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos arrives at the euro zone finance ministers meeting
  • 12:49
    Earlier chief hawk Alexander Stubb, Finland's finance minister, said he's not willing to ease Greece's debt burden, "we did that already in 2011 and 2012".

    "We're not forcing Greece out of the euro zone...we need to see some political will on the part of the Greek government."

    "It must commit to the conditionality that has been set forward."

    "But time is running out."
  • 12:54
  • 12:54
  • 12:55
  • 12:59
    Spot the new boy
    Spot the new boy
  • 13:05

    Here's Suzanne Lynch's report on the Noonan doorstep:

    Ireland is in favour of debt restructuring for Greece, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said. Speaking on his way into today’s key meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, Minister Noonan said there were “several options on re-profiling and restructuring debt” that could be explored.

    “[Debt restructuring] has always been part of the discussion,” he said. “I have said here on several occasions that the Greek govt should follow the example of the approach we took in Ireland and restructure the debt,” noting that Ireland had extended loan maturities, reduced interest rates, a re-enginerring of the Anglo Irish promissory note and refinanced €18. 5 billion of IMF loans.


    “So there are several options on reprofiling and restructuring debt ... I am prepared to look at the Greek proposals. “ He rejected claims that Ireland had taken a “hardline approach” to Greece in negotiations.


    “I’ve been involved in the principal meetings in Greece and have never had a hardline approach to Greece. I’ve always said Ireland wants Greece to stay in the eurogroup and we’re prepared to negotiate and we see restructuring of the debt as part of the negotiation. That’s still my position.”


    Minister Noonan said he expected the new Greek finance minister to present the proposals that will be submitted by Greek

  • 13:12
    Guardian's Kate Connolly sees possibility of deal in Bundestag canteen.
  • 13:15
  • 13:38
    Phew, now that that flurry of doorsteps is over and the ministers are safetly enscounced and negotiating, we can pause to assess what we've heard.   Germany and its northern allies appear to be sticking to the same "no debt relief" line.

    The other ministers took a more conciliatory tone, as they have done up to now. Perhaps, Spain's Luis de Guindos suggestion that he was ready to talk about a third Greek financial bailout encapsulates the non-hardliners best.

  • 13:40
     Newly appointed Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos (centres) at the Eurogroup
     Newly appointed Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos (centres) at the Eurogroup
  • 13:43
    Euclidean space
    Euclidean space
  • 13:52
    Groundhog day?
  • 13:57
    I just posted tweet from a Greek journalist, suggesting the Greek delegation has arrived without proposals and that they would be issued tomorrow. I don't believe that. It couldn't be the case, could it? The Eurogroup has been delayed for 30 minutes for some reason, but that's not unusual.
  • 14:03
    ECB warns of 'moral hazard' with emergency loans

    Frankfurt has issued a statement outlining in greater detail the terms of its liquidity arrangement with Greece.  

    Last night, the ECB maintained its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) lifeline to Greek banks but raised the discount on the collateral Greece must stump up in return for the cash.

    Explaining its decision in greater detail today, it cannot provide emergency funding to banks on overly generous terms or against insufficient collateral as it would invite "moral hazard".

    "Provision of ELA at overly generous conditions... could increase the risk of moral hazard on the side of financial institutions or responsible authorities," it said.


  • 14:04
  • 14:04
  • 14:08
    Has another Eurogroup meeting ended before it has begun? Have the Greeks really failed to bring new proposals? We know Dijsselbloem is planning to make a short address in a few minutes.
  • 14:14
  • 14:17
    The rumour that Greece has showed up with no new proposals is gaining traction now...they'll have them tomorrow, apparently.
  • 14:19
  • 14:22
    Is this news percolating out to FX traders? The euro has just slid to a five-week low against the dollar. It's trading 1.2 per cent down at $1.092.
  • 14:29

    Greeks arrive without proposals:


    OK, it's becoming semi-official now, Greece's new finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos has arrived at today's crunch Eurogroup meeting in Brussels with no new proposals.


    Apparently, they won't be ready until tomorrow. Head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem is about to make a statement. This, of course, begs the question what tonight's emergency summit of European leaders' is going to be about in the absence of Greek proposals

  • 14:36
  • 14:42
  • 14:44
    Greeks arrive bearing no gifts: Not for the first time, confusion reigns. The Greeks didn't bring new proposals, they submitted old proposals with slight amendments, they will submit new proposals tomorrow.  
  • 14:51
    Reuters is now reporting that Greece will submit a new aid proposal "maybe" Wednesday, citing a senior euro zone official.  
  • 14:55
  • 14:57
  • 14:59
    Dijsselbloem due to speak in 30 minutes
  • 15:05
    Letter from Greek president to President of the European Council

    Meanwhile, the Guardian has its hands on a letter sent by the Greek president to Donald Tusk, European Council president, outlining the agreement between party leaders in Athens on Monday and insisting a No vote in Sunday's referendum was not a mandate for leaving the euro


    July 7, 2015

    Dear Mr. President,

    I would like to inform you that following a request by the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Alexis Tsipras, I called a meeting yesterday of the political leaders of the Parties of the Greek Parliament, in which a common declaration was adopted by all Parties except the Communist Party of Greece stating the following:
    The recent vote of the Greek people in the referendum does not constitute a mandate to break away from the Euro zone, but a mandate to continue and strengthen the effort for attaining a socially just and economically viable agreement. The Government will assume the responsibility of continuing negotiations, and every political leader will contribute to this effort on the basis of their institutional and political role.
    The common goal, in this context, is the pursuit of a solution that will ensure:
    - Covering, sufficiently, the financial needs of the country
    - Credible reforms, based on a fair distribution of burdens and the promotion of growth, with as few recessionary consequences as possible
    - A strong, front-loaded developmental program, primarily oriented to confronting unemployment and encouraging entrepreneurship
    - A commitment to beginning a substantial discussion on confronting the problem of the viability of Greek public debt
    The Political Leaders also underlined that the restoration of liquidity in the Greek banking system, in coordination with the ECB, constitutes an immediate priority.
    The aforementioned consensual decision of most Greek Parliamentary parties constitutes a crucial opportunity for all euro zone partners to reach an economically and politically viable agreement.

    I remain,

    Sincerely yours

    Prokopis Pavlopoulos

    Source: The Guardian

  • 15:07

    Tsipras to address European Parliament on Wednesday:

    We're also hearing Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will address the European Parliament tomorrow in an attempt to broker a last-minute aid deal

  • 15:14

    Back to the Greek no-show in Brussels:


    Reuters have it from two separate officials in Brussels that Greece has essentially arrived in Brussels with no new proposals but has promised to submit a new request "perhaps" tomorrow.

    Greece will submit a new aid proposal to European creditors "maybe" on Wednesday, the agency reported, citing euro zone officials.

     "They say they will submit a new request and outline of proposals maybe tomorrow," a senior official told Reuters. A second official also said the Greek delegation to a meeting of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers had not submitted any formal proposal for credit.

    "If they really plan to present something formal tomorrow, they may not find anyone to read it," the official added.

  • 15:15
    Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos   waits for the start of a round table meeting of euro zone finance ministers
    Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos   waits for the start of a round table meeting of euro zone finance ministers
  • 15:19

    New Greek minister fails to present any new proposals, opting instead to give update on situation


    The word from Brussels is that the new Greek finance minister did not present fresh proposals over how to win support for a financial bailout. Instead Euclid Tsakalotos gave an oral update of the financial situation in Greece instead, sources say.

  • 15:28
    Confirmation that Tsipras will address the parliament tomorrow
  • 15:33
    Market update: After rising a little earlier, European markets are falling again - for a fourth day in a row. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.8 per cent to 375.5   in London this afternoon, after rising as much as 0.4 per cent this morning.
  • 15:36
    Tusk and Draghi discus Greek situation before main summit
  • 15:40

    Dijsselbloem statement on the way:

    We're waiting for Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s statement following today's turbo Eurogroup meeting. We should be able to gauge the frustration arising from the Greek no-show at that point.

  • 15:48
    Here's confirmation that the Eurogroup meeting has indeed ended
  • 15:53
    Greek officials reject reports they came with no new proposals:

    Greek officials are now rejecting suggestions they arrived at today's meeting with no new proposals. According to officials cited by Reuters, the Greek camp submitted credit proposals to euro zone partners based on those it put forward last week.

    Earlier one senior euro zone official told Reuters: "They (Greek officials) say they will submit a new request and outline of proposals, maybe tomorrow." A second euro zone official also said no formal proposal for credit had been submitted on Tuesday, adding: "If they really plan to present something formal tomorrow, they may not find anyone to read it."

    Asked about those comments, however, one Greek government official said: "Some are maintaining we don't have proposals. Is that the same as not having 47 pages which we had the Monday before last, and today? "Is it really that we don't have proposals or is it that they don't like our proposals?"

    A second Greek official said: "The Greek government came with the proposals which hadn't been discussed by the Eurogroup last week."
  • 15:54

    Tsipras to meet Merkel and Hollande:

    We're hearing that Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will meet German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande before tonight's emergency summit

  • 15:55
    Poor ole Euclid Tsakalotos seems to be having a bit of a nightmare on his debut. Widely pilloried for arriving with no new proposals - albeit, this is disputed by Greek officials, Tsakalotos has committed something of a schoolboy error by allowing his notes - on hotel paper - to be photographed at the beginning of the meeting. They include a reminder not to be triumphalist.

  • 16:07
  • 16:13

    Dijsselbloem confirms Greeks did not submit new aid request:

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, confirmed the Greek government did not submit a written request for financial assistance at today's meeting.

    He said this will be done through the European Stability Mechanism tomorrow and that euro zone leaders would hold a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the request.
     

  • 16:16
    Here's what Bloomberg are reporting:

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, says Greece will put its economic proposals in writing, in a first step toward restarting aid talks.

    Euro-area finance chiefs will hold a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss the request, he added.

    Agreement on the path forward lessens the risk that the European Central Bank will pull the plug on Greek banks, which are bleeding cash and have been shut for seven business days.

    "There is a great sense of urgency," Dijsselbloem told reporters     in Brussels after leading a meeting of euro- area finance ministers.

    He said Greece must deliver "credible reforms" and spoke of a possible medium-term aid package.

    Finnish finance Minister Alexander Stubb, an outspoken critic of Greece's economic management, said the ministers had a "good conversation" with new Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

  • 16:19
  • 16:24
    Merkel says still no basis for talks with Greece

    Focus now shifts to tonight's emergency leaders' summit. German chancellor has just arrived and insisted there is still no basis for negotiations with Greece. She also warned "we don't have weeks but days" to resolve the situation. On his way in, Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: "I am always happy to meet Tsipras to discuss a solution."
  • 16:25
    Merkel says there's still no basis for talks<br />  
    Merkel says there's still no basis for talks
     
  • 16:30
  • 16:37

    Full comments by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch PM Mark Rutte:

    Merkel: "After the expiry of the second programme and after more than clear No in the Greek referendum there is still no basis for negotiations in the ESM programme framework. We still believe that solidarity at a European level or and responsibility at a national level, what each side is offering, are inseparably linked. In other words, without solidarity there is no possibility to help, without solidarity and reforms it's not possible to go where we want to go. At the council we will talk about how we'll continue but we won't be able to paint the final pictures. I say it's not a matter of weeks but of a few days. We will see what the Greek prime minister will tell us."


    Rutte: "I'm very cheerless about this summit and I'm very cheerless about the fact whether Greece wants to come with proposals at all. It seems they have put the old proposals on the table again, if we can believe the reports. The only solution is for Greece to make far reaching reforms and implement difficult measures. The fate of Greece in the euro and the responsibility is in Athens, not here. The Greek government is taking a large risk with the interests of the Greek people. I'm here to keep up the integrity, the cohesion and the underlying principles of the monetary union. It's up to the Greek government to come with the far reaching proposals, if they don't I think it will be over soon."

    "The fact is: if the Greeks don't today, or very soon because time has already run out, come up with far reaching proposals, are prepared to implement difficult measures we won't be able to help them. In that case the responsibility will be with the Greek government."

  • 16:40
    Tsipras briefs Obama on Greek negotiations:

    Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras spoke to US president Barack Obama by telephone today shortly before an emergency euro zone summit and briefed him on Greece's request for a rescue loan, a Greek government official said, according to Reuters.

    The official said Obama had voiced strong US hopes for a successful outcome to the negotiations. The United States has said it wants an early solution to   Greece's debt crisis that keeps Athens in the European currency area.

  • 16:45
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a euro zone EU leaders emergency summit
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a euro zone EU leaders emergency summit
  • 16:46
  • 16:51
  • 17:06
    Belgian PM: We can't do it with a gun to our head

    Belgium's PM Charles Michel struck an uncompromising tone ahead of this evening's summit. Here's what he said: "We can't do it with a gun to our head or a knife at our throats. A prime minister has to face up to his responsibilities. If there's nothing on the table and there continues to be nothing on the table, that means Tsipras is not able to honour the demand of the Greek people to stay in the euro zone. If there are no proposals, he bears a heavy responsibility towards his own people first and the euro zone."
  • 17:08
    French president Francois Hollande strikes more conciliatory tone but warns time is of the essence:

    "What do we want? For Greece to stay in the euro. To get there, Greece must make serious, credible proposals. We are waiting for them and they have already been announced, they must be fleshed out now. It's the issue for tonight. The onus is on Greece to make some proposals. It's up to Europe to show solidarity by giving them a medium-term outlook, with immediate aid. We are not going to speak about Greece every three months. Finally we need speed. It's this week that the decisions have to be taken."
  • 17:10

    FTSE falls on Grexit woes:

    Britain's benchmark FTSE index dropped   to its lowest level in six months today on Grexit fear. The index closed down 1.6 per cent at 6,432.21 points,   its lowest since mid-January.

  • 17:22
    It's proving difficult to track what's going on at the heart of this crisis. Despite reports that the Greeks turned up with no new proposals at today's Eurogroup, the mood has not darkened, which suggests there may be movement behind the scenes. That said, the markets turned sour this afternoon on renewed fears surrounding the prospects of a deal after starting off positive.

    A Greek government official told Reuters that proposals made by the Greek government to creditors last week in a bid to unlock bailout funds still stand, though some "improvements" to the offer have been made.

     The official said the proposals would be discussed at the summit on Tuesday and also on Wednesday. Athens aims to have a deal soon, the official added, so that funding can be restored to the Greek banking system.

    "These proposals include reforms, funding, investment program and debt settlement," said the official.
  • 17:23
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has just arrived at the summit...
  • 17:24
  • 17:39
    For the Greek government it's always 'manana':

    Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite vented her frustration at ongoing impasse tonight. "For the Greek government it is always manana," she said on the way in to the summit.

    "It's only picture, not papers. The picture we know ourselves, we don't need that anymore. Either today's government do not know what they do not know, and don't want to know or it is poker and gambling. There is no third way. Europe can find a solution to any problem but for that you need two partners to talk, to trust and understand each other. That's not yet the case," she said.

  • 17:48

    Italy's Renzi says solution can be found 'quite easily'

    The tone from southern European leaders just couldn't be more different from their northern colleagues: Here's Italian PM Matteo Renzi: "I am not very worried about a technical solution for Greece. I think a solution can be found, even quite easily, to solve Greece's emergency."

    He goes on: "I am a bit more worried about the situation of Europe. In its current state Europe is not good. A technical solution for Greece can be found. What is more important is to find a political solution for Europe and on this there is still a lot to do. (Asked whether Europe should still include   Greece in euro zone) Where to be is up to the Greek governors. I think from their point of view there is strong interest to stay in the euro.

    "To stay in the euro one must follow rules. These rules can be interpreted with a bit of flexibility but as all euro zone countries know, they must be followed," he adds.

  • 17:54

    Economists call on Merkel to stop force-feeding Greeks with austerity:

    In an open letter published in several European newspapers today, a group of senior economists, inlcuding Thomas Piketty and Jeffrey Sachs, called on Germany's Angela Merkel to stop forcing austerity on the Greeks.

    "The medicine prescribed by the German finance ministry and Brussels has bled the patient, not cured the disease,"   they said.

    "Right now, the Greek government is being asked to put a gun to its head and pull the trigger...Sadly, the bullet will not only kill off Greece's future in Europe. The collateral damage will kill the euro zone as a beacon of hope, democracy and prosperity, and could lead to far-reaching economic consequences across the world."

     "To Chancellor Merkel our message is clear: we urge you to take this vital action of leadership for Greece and Germany, and also for the world," they said.

  • 17:57
    <br />Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (left), German chancellor Angela Merkel (second left), European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (second right) and French president Francois Hollande (right) meet prior to a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels

    Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (left), German chancellor Angela Merkel (second left), European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (second right) and French president Francois Hollande (right) meet prior to a euro zone leaders summit in Brussels
  • 18:02
    A day of doorsteps finally ends...the summit has begun
  • 19:03

    Noonan expects Greece to apply for third bailout in coming days:


    Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he expected Greece to make an application for a third bailout in the coming days which would involve a "significant amount of money" and some form of "debt re-profiling".


    As efforts intensified to break the impasse before Greek banks ran out of cash, Mr Noonan said while there were no new proposals on the table there was a consensus that a new "medium-term sustainable programme for Greece" had to be found.

    Speaking after the latest Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, which was attended by new Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos, he said: "While there was no formal demand, it's quite clear that they're moving towards a position where they will apply for a third bailout for Greece."


    The application will be made through the EU's bailout fund - the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Mr Noonan told RTÉ's Six One News.

    However, he said the Greek delegation did not present proposals to show what conditions they were offering to receive the money.

    "There was a general feeling, though no vote was taken, what is needed now is a medium-term sustainable programme for Greece. So two to three years which would be sustainable," he said, noting the deal was likely to draw on some of elements that were rejected previously.

    On the issue of whether a new deal would involve a debt write-down of some kind, Mr Noonan said: "That wasn't raised today by the Greek minister but there was a general sense that a re-profiling of debt would be acceptable."

    This could potentially include the extension of maturities and/or the cutting of interest rates, similar to what has been done in programmes in Ireland, Portugal and Spain, he said.

    However, Mr Noonan said there was no "specific demand for haircuts and I know from previous meetings it wouldn't be acceptable to any of the other 18 countries."

    He described the euro zone's newest finance minister as "impressive and low key and interesting in what he had to say."


    In terms of a timescale, Mr Noonan stressed the main elements of the deal needed to be in place before next Monday's July meeting of euro zone ministers.

    "But we're still waiting for specific proposals from Greece, at the end of the meeting the minister [Tsakalotos] said he thought that he'd be able to provide more specific details to his prime minister for the heads' meeting which is taking place now so they're maybe more specific information later in the evening."


     

  • 19:18
  • 19:22
    I'm hanging up my boots for the night but I'll be back first thing tomorrow morning to see how the markets are digesting the latest
    manoeuvres. My colleague Colin Gleeson is taking over to monitor the rest of tonight's events. Cheers, Colin.
  • 19:29

    Good evening. My name is Colin Gleeson and I am taking over from Eoin Burke-Kennedy on the Irish Times live blog of the Greek crisis tonight.

    As we speak, the emergency summit of European leaders is taking place in Brussels.

    The big news right now is that it looks like Greece is going to apply for a third bailout in the coming days.

    I will bring you any updates on that as they come in, as well as reaction from relevant parties.

    Feel free to tweet me @ColinGleesonIT if you would like to comment.

  • 19:33

    Reuters is reporting that two senior EU sources have said Euro zone leaders could hold a further emergency summit on Sunday to approve a plan to aid Greece if creditor institutions are satisfied with the Greek loan application and reform plan.

    They say Greece is expected to submit “within hours” a formal request for a medium-term assistance programme from the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund.

    Euro zone finance ministers have said they will hold a conference tomorrow morning to consider that request.

    In parallel, the sources said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was expected to put forward a reform plan to make Greek public finances sustainable.

    This would entail prior actions to be put into law in Greece before the next emergency summit.

  • 19:47

    Amidst all the talk of high level negotiations, it can be easy to forget how the crisis is affecting pordinary people on the ground.

    The Guardian has compiled a list of ten things people in Greece can't do.

    Cash

    Greeks cannot withdraw more than €60 a day from cash machines. Cash is running out, with shortages of €5, €10 and €20 notes and €1 coins reported.

    Credit cards

    Technically cards are still accepted, but many retailers now only want cash, and apparently some offer discounts for cash payments. Greeks travelling abroad have reported problems using Greek bank payment cards, especially for large transactions such as hotel bills and rental cars.

    Money transfers

    Transfers of money outside the country are banned unless specifically approved by a special committee. That restricts imports and hits payments to exporters.

    iPhone apps

    Greeks with iPhones report being blocked from downloading apps. Others who have subscription accounts to pay for iCloud storage received error messages when monthly direct debit fees were due. The messages said accounts may be downgraded to ones with less storage if the fee was not paid.

    PayPal

    Greeks can receive PayPal payments, but cannot spend. The company said capital controls meant funding of PayPal wallet from Greek bank accounts are currently not available.

    Buy online

    Shopping on websites that are not based in Greece is now limited.

    Buy or sell shares

    The Athens stock exchange has been closed for seven days. Currently scheduled to reopen Thursday, but that is unlikely unless the banks are also able to resume business.

    Pay the rent/regular bills

    Restrictions on cash are making rent payments difficult for many tenants. There are reports that direct debit payments to cover bills are slowing and the e-banking is creaking.

    Shortages looming

    Greek shoppers have been stocking up on key items such as coffee, pulses, rice, batteries and soap. Eggs and meat are also becoming more difficult to obtain, according to reports.

    Pharmaceuticals

    Almost all Greek drug supplies are imported, and there are reports that some essential drugs are now running short. Greece already owes international drug companies more than €1.1bn in unpaid bills, according to European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

  • 19:53
  • 20:05

    German MEP and chair of the European People's Party Manfred Weber is currently talking to reporters.

    The Greek government has “destroyed a lot of trust”, he says.

    “Before we can talk about another programme, the Greek government needs to regain the trust they lost.”

    He says he wants assurances the Greek government can “live up to its promises”.

    “Deeds, not words,” he says.

    “On the other hand the Greek government is democratic and we have no alternative to negotiating with the government there is,” he adds.

  • 20:11

    European Conservatives and Reformists president Dr Syed Salah Kamall, who is an MEP and a member of the British Conservatives, has told reporters: “We have to respect the democratic will of the Greek people”.

    He says he is “a bit concerned” about European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s comment that he doesn’t understand what the Greek people said.

    “Well, they said no,” he says.

  • 20:22
    Syriza MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis is about to talk to reporters.
  • 20:30

    At a press briefing, he is saying that events in Brussels “will influence not only Greece but the Eurozone and Europe”.

    “If we take into account the continued interventions of the white house, they are also going to affect the global economy,” he says.

    “If what prevails are the cries for Grexit, we will have to face adventures.”

  • 20:33

    He says Greece will submit proposals that will deal with its non-sustainable public debt.

    He expects Tsipras and new Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos to return bring “not only proposals but the intention to listen, to examine, any other proposal that can find a solution”.

    He says the problem “is a common problem”.

  • 20:37

    In terms of last Sunday’s referendum result, he says they have “a powerful No”.

    Not even Syriza expected the extent of the No vote.

    He too is a little miffed by Juncker’s comments claiming to have not known what the Greeks had said.

    “If he had not understood the question, then why did he, a week ago, give a press conference campaigning for a Yes?” he asks.

    He says the Greek No is a “No for austerity and a Yes for democracy”.

    “I hope that in the next hours what will prevail will be realism, looking to the future,” he adds.

  • 20:46
  • 20:52

    Reuters are now reporting that Greek banks could start to run out of cash over the next two days if creditors do not agree to a new aid deal.

    The news agency is quoting two sources familiar with the country's financial system as the basis for the story.

    One of the sources has said he expects some ATM machines to start running out of money by tomorrow.

    The other source, a banker in Greece, said there could be two days' worth of money left in the system.

    "Cash is going to be a real problem at the ATMs tomorrow," the first source said.

    "The 60 euros a day has really prolonged the life of the ATMs but actually things are looking to be much more challenging from tomorrow."

    The second source, a senior banker in a Greek bank, said the country's cash system would grind to a halt if Tsipras could not seal a deal in the coming days.

    "I don't know if the ATMs will run out of money on Wednesday or Thursday night, but if we don't have a deal or an interim deal with Europeans we will run out of banknotes in two to three days," he said.

  • 20:54

    US president Barack Obama has spoken with Alexis Tsipras tonight.

    According to a statement from the White House, he told him that it was “in everyone’s interest that Greece and its creditors reach a mutually-acceptable agreement”.

    Obama received an update from Tsipras on “his ideas for a path forward between Greece and its creditors”.

  • 20:57

    Greece’s deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas has said Greece sees no issues in being able to pay public sector salaries this month.

    "We are not facing any particular problem in paying public sector salaries (on July 13)," he told state TV ERT.

    "Based on what we know so far, they can be paid normally."

    Mardas stressed again that the Greek government was not making plans for a haircut on bank deposits.

  • 21:12

    The emergency meeting of EU leaders has ended.

    Ministers for Finance are speaking to reporters as they leave.

  • 21:15

    Lithuanian finance minister Rimantas Šadžius has said the main message given to “our Greek friends” was that they badly need to rebuild trust.

    The Greeks need to “clearly show they are in a position, that they can and will, implement the reforms necessary to make the lives of Greek people better”.

  • 21:20

    French politician and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, is speaking to reporters.

    He’s supposed to speak in English and French but is so far reneging on that commitment. You’ll have to bear with me.

  • 21:28

    He says they are waiting for Greece’s application for another bailout.

    Tonight’s meeting, he said, had a “positive tone”, but the main issues “are of substance”.

    There is “a lot of work to be done in very little time”, he says. “Time is running short.”

    He insists Europe “must avoid a Grexit” before adding: “A Grexit would be a mistake.”

    “The Meeting today was as good as possible,” he says. “We are waiting for the written submission but are expecting it very soon and we will disuses it then within the framework of the Euro group.”

  • 21:35
    Reports are now emerging that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said Eurozone leaders are to wait until Sunday for Greece to submit proposals on debt crisis.
  • 21:38
    President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker are due to give a press conference shortly.
  • 21:43

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told reporters that EU leaders would 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 ball is in Greece's court," he said. "Next Sunday the final meeting will take place on Greece."

  • 21:44
    According to Reuters’ euro zone sources, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived in Brussels 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.
  • 21:44

    Any new terms that Greece bring forward "must go much further" than previous proposals, Merkel has said.

    Sunday’s meeting will be a full European summit with all 28 members.

  • 21:47
    The press conference with Tusk and Juncker is beginning.
  • 21:49
    Tusk says European heads of State will meet on Sunday.
  • 21:51

    He says that if there is no agreement on Sunday, that may well be the end of the road.

    “If this doesn’t happen, it will mean the end of negotiations, with all the consequences, including the worst case scenario,” he says.

  • 21:52

    The consequences could mean insolvent banks and an insolvent Greece.

    “For sure, it will be most painful for the Greek people,” he says.

  • 21:54

    Tusk also says he has “no doubt” this would affect all of Europe in a “geo-political sense”.

    “Anyone who doesn’t believe that to be so is naive,” he says.

    “We have five day to find the ultimate agreement.”

    He says he has resisted speaking about deadlines to date, but: “Tonight, I have to say it loud and clear, that the final deadline is this week.”

  • 21:56
    Juncker says he is strongly against Grexit, but cannot avoid it if the Greek government won’t do what they committed to do.
  • 21:58

    He is also unhappy about having been characterised as “a terrorist” for the tack taken with Greece.

    “Who are they and who do they think I am?” he says.

  • 22:04

    So it would seem all roads lead to Sunday.

    The Greeks have the rest of the week to try and come up with a proposal that will be acceptable to its European creditors.

    Otherwise, if Tusk is to be believed, we could be looking at a Greek exit from the EU with all of its inherent consequences for the European and global economy.

  • 22:09

    There are noises however that a compromise may be possible.

    A solution still depends on Mr Tsipras putting forward convincing reform proposals and rushing key measures through parliament by the weekend to make Greece’s public finances sustainable.

  • 22:13
    If the reform list is adequate and Greece takes some prior actions to enact first measures, Merkel has said she is sure that short-term finance could be provided to help Athens over its immediate funding needs.
  • 22:18
  • 22:20

    Juncker also said at tonight’s press conference that the European Commission is “prepared for everything".

    "We have a Grexit scenario prepared in detail, we have a scenario as far as humanitarian aid is concerned, and - that's the scenario I most prefer - a scenario to keep Greece in the euro zone.”

  • 22:23

    Angela Merkel has said she has received assurances from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that the ECB will do the necessary to keep Greek banks afloat until the EU summit on Sunday.

    Speaking at a news conference after an emergency summit of euro zone leaders, Merkel said she was "not exaggeratedly optimistic" of a solution to rescue Greece on Sunday but the summit had been called "because we think the situation is so dangerous".

    Asked if Greece could crash out of the euro zone if it failed to put forward convincing reform proposals, she said Sunday's summit would decide whether to open negotiations on a two-year programme for Athens.

    The leaders had not discussed the idea of Greece possibly creating parallel currency, Merkel said.

    She said the euro zone stood by a 2012 commitment to look at debt relief for Greece if it fulfilled the conditions, but there could be no question of a debt haircut, which would be illegal under the EU treaty.

  • 22:32

    Tsipras has said Athens is seeking a “final exit” from crisis with a reform-for-aid proposal at the end of the week.

    “The discussion was held in a positive atmosphere,” he says.

    “The process will be fast. It starts in the coming hours with the aim of concluding it by the end of the week, at the latest," he told reporters after the emergency summit.

    "The Greek side will continue the effort, having the strong weapon of the Greek people's verdict ... the vast majority's will for a viable agreement to end the discussion (about a Grexit) and offer the prospect of finally exiting the crisis.”

  • 22:40

    So a day that started with the promise of drama has not altogether disappointed.

    There may have been no deal – or even any proposal for a deal as it turned out – but there have been strong indications that the crisis is moving towards endgame.

    European Council president Donald Tusk has laid down a marker and said Sunday is the last deadline for reaching an agreement.

    He must have holiday plans next week. With that, we will leave it there for tonight, but see irishtimes.com for more updates as they come in.