Eurozone ministers Friday insisted that an emergency leaders summit called to solve the Greece debt crisis required firm proposals by Athens in advance of the meeting.
“Calling a summit that will not be prepared if there is no arrangement this weekend, I don’t find that very constructive,” said Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jorg Schelling arriving for a meeting with his European Union counterparts.
“We don’t know if Greece is going to make a move and make new proposals. Taking this to the political level, as Greece does, is obviously a double-edged sword,” he added.
EU President Donald Tusk called a summit of the leaders of the 19 eurozone countries Monday in Brussels after finance ministers Thursday failed to break the five-month-old deadlock between the anti-austerity government in Athens and its EU-IMF creditors.
“It’s very important that this is first prepared on the technical level because we need to have some kind of a proposal on the table for the euro summit,” Finnish Finance Minister Alex Stubb said Friday.
Any deal between the Greek authorities and its creditors will first require an agreement on the technical details, negotiated by teams of experts from the institutions overseeing Greece’s bailout — the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
Several rounds of talks to strike a cash for reforms deal at this level have broken off in the five months since SYRIZA came to power, with the government insisting that any agreement be negotiated at the higher political level.
But any deal “must be prepared by the institutions, then discussed in the Eurogroup [of euro finance ministers] and the heads, of course, have the right and responsibility to discuss political issues,” said Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius.
A source close to the negotiations said Athens had made no outreach to the institutions since the last round of talks broke off suddenly on Sunday although Greece says it has put forward proposals for consideration.
“It’s very much for them to come forward,” the source said.
He added that a meeting of Eurogroup ministers was also required in advance of a eurozone summit and that this would “probably” take place Monday, a few hours before the arrival of the leaders.