Greek PM upbeat over deal at Monday’s emergency summit

There will be a solution to the Greek debt crisis that will allow the country to return to growth while staying in the eurozone, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday, as the country moved closer to the brink of default.

Tsipras’s tone was strikingly upbeat given that talks over a cash-for-reforms deal for Greece remained deadlocked after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers and that bank withdrawals from Greek lenders have accelerated in the past week.

The leftist leader, who has refused to make concessions over tax hikes and pension reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors, welcomed a planned eurozone emergency summit on Monday and dismissed those predicting catastrophe.

“The leaders summit on Monday is a positive development on the road toward a deal,” Tsipras’s office said in a statement. “All those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong.”

“There will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro.”

Time is running out for Greece to strike a deal and avoid defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro loan to the International Monetary Fund by the end of June – the first in a series of looming payments for the cash-strapped country.